Nigeria is making conscious efforts toward achieving polio certification by the year 2020, according to the National Economic Council (NEC).
The information was conveyed by Gov. Willie Obiano of Anambra, while briefing State House correspondents after the NEC meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that the major highlights were updates on disease control efforts by the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.
He added that “Nigeria is steadily progressing toward polio certification by June 2020; despite the progress, there is still work to be done to sustain the current polio gains and stop the transmission of the circulating vaccine derived polio virus.
“In the past two years, there were improvements in immunisation coverage and Routine Immunisation (RI) programme performance.
“Despite the country’s performance in RI and polio performance, other core Primary Healthcare Centre(PHC) indices have been stagnated and we are on track to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030.
“The current aspiration of government is to reach 100 million Nigerians through at least 10,000 revitalised primary healthcare centres through a phased approach over a period of 10 years.
“The expectation of state governments is to revitalise one PHC ward with full complement of required infrastructure—basice services, hospital personnel and key support systems.
“However, so far, no state in Nigeria has been able to achieve fully activated PHCs in accordance with set criteria.’’
Obiano said that the minister appealed for timely release of states and local governments’ counterpart funding for polio, yellow fever, measles, meningitis campaigns and establishment of taskforce on immunisation.
He added that the minister also appealed that the taskforce be chaired by deputy governors in states.
According to Obiano, Ehanire also called for increased political oversight by executive governors and chairmen of local governments in line with Abuja commitment indicators.
“Executive governors should also call for quarterly meetings of local government chairmen and states health team to review progress in achieving sustainable primary healthcare and universal healthcare coverage, which are central to improving human capital development,’’ he said.