Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole said fresh outbreaks has denied Nigeria WHO certification as a polio free nation next year.
The minister bemoaned reclassification ofNigeria as polio-endemic nation following recent outbreaks of the virus in the country. He however said, the country had put needed measures in place to defeat the disease.
Adewole disclosed this at a media conference to mark this year’s World Polio Day.
He blamed fresh cases on activities of insurgents in the North-East, as it made people inaccessible to vaccinators. He, however, noted that the military had been helping health workers in liberated communities to immunise children that could not earlier be reached.
Adewole added that recent immunisation programmes have been done in conjunction with neighbouring countries namely Niger, Cameroun, Chad and Central African Republic. With this, the country has conducted three outbreak response rounds of polio vaccinations with additional rounds scheduled for next month and December.
“During the September round over 30 million children under the age of five years were vaccinated with oral vaccine across 18 states in northern Nigeria. Additionally, we reached over 1.5 million children in Borno State with Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV) to rapidly boost population immunity.”
He added that government had also intensified surveillance among high risk populations in IDP camps, and partially inaccessible areas including expansion of the reporting network.