The Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee (NNPPC) has advised Nigerian parents to continue to get their children immunised against polio despite the fact that the country was certified polio-free by the WHO in 2020.
Committee Chairman, Dr Tunji Funsho, gave the advice on Saturday in Abuja at a news conference to commemorate World Polio Day, usually celebrated on Oct. 24 annually.
He advised that children should continue to be inoculated against the disease until the entire world is certified Wild Polio Virus (WPV)-free.
Funsho named Afghanistan and Pakistan as among the countries still being ravaged by polio.
He stated that his committee has done a lot of work as regards polio in Nigeria, adding that the polio vaccine was safe.
He appealed to parents to make their children available for WPV vaccination.
“The World Polio Day was set aside originally to commemorate the birthday of the scientist who discovered the first polio vaccine in 1955. However, the current oral polio vaccine was developed in 1960.
“Another major reason for organising and celebrating World Polio Day is to continue our advocacy effort in ensuring that we immunise every child below age five against the poliovirus and be protected against WPV,” he said.
The NNPPC chair also called for more funding of the childhood disease to ensure its total eradication.
He said part of the initiative of his committee was to seek partnership with international organisations working on the eradication of polio.
He listed some members of the global polio eradication organisations to include the WHO, UNICEF and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
He said NNPPC was working to ensure that the international bodies bring to the table what they have in stock.
Funsho commended Rotary International for being a frontliner in terms of funding polio activities in Nigeria.
He said Rotary had expended over 2.1 billion dollars on the eradication of polio worldwide.
He called for enhanced funding of primary healthcare facilities as 75 per cent of health issues are taken care of there.
He also called on Volunteer Community Mobilisers (VCMs) not to get tired of the polio vaccination programme.