Federal government,s focus is now expected to shift to sustaining Nigeria’s new status as a Wild Polio free nation, with necessary investments that will strengthen the primary healthcare system.
President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday, pledged his administration’s commitments to sustaining the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system in his letters to world leaders and partners to appreciate their support towards helping Nigeria attain a Wild Polio Virus (WPV) free status.
For several decades, Nigeria,s wild polio cases were seen as direct result of failure of the nation’s primary health care services
The President however attributed the recent declaration of Nigeria as a Wild Polio free country as the result of effective coordination of the Nigerian Polio eradication program through the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication as well as the Routine Immunization, by Federal Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency.
The President commended Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Chairman Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication, and his team, for making Nigeria proud and saving her children from the scourge of poliomyelitis.
He commended the Vice President for his leadership of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization.
‘‘I urge the Taskforce under your leadership to sustain this coordination especially in mobilizing State Governors to provide the needed oversight and resources to sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system by improving routine immunization, maternal, newborn and child health services.
‘‘I urge you to sustain the momentum as I look forward to us leveraging on the polio infrastructure and experience to drive other health interventions,’’ the President wrote in the letter to Prof Osinbajo.
The President also wrote a separate letter to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, thanking the European country for decades of financial support to Polio Eradication Initiative (PEI) programme in Nigeria through KfW.
‘‘Please be assured that my Government will remain committed and focused to ensuring the needed resources will be provided to sustain the momentum and strengthen the primary health care system of our great Country,’’ the President said in his letter to Chancellor Merkel.
President Buhari also thanked traditional and religious leaders, who through their leadership built community trust for the polio programme thereby increasing acceptance and ensuring all eligible children are reached with the polio vaccine.
Specifically, he wrote Muhammad Saad III, Sultan of Sokoto, the leadership of Jama’atul-Nasirl Islam (JNI) and the President, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN).
The President also wrote separate letters of appreciation to Bill Gates, the European Union, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director-General, World Health Organization, Robert R. Redfield, Director, U.S Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Henrietta Fore, Executive Director, United Nations Children’s Fund, David Malpass, President, World Bank Group and John Barsa, Acting Administrator, United States Agency for International Development.
Others are, Global Affairs Canada, Shinichi Kitaoka, President, Japan International Cooperation Agency, and the International President, Rotary International.
President Buhari also appreciated the support of Aliko Dangote, Chairman Aliko Dangote Foundation, Emeka Offor and Governor Kayode Fayemi, in his capacity as the Chairman, Nigerian Governors Forum.