Written by Williams ABAH

Rotary Intl. donates $5.7m for polio in Nigeria

The Rotary International has donated the sum of $5 million to continue the fight against polio in Nigeria. 

The donation was handed over to UNICEF Country Representative Nigeria, Dr. Pernille Ironside. 

Speaking at the event held in Abuja, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, commended Rotary International for the donation and called on other partners to support Nigeria on its efforts to become polio-free country. 

Adewole said Nigeria is on its last lap to end polio in the next couple of months, adding that Nigeria would be certified polio free in no distance time, just as he said that the Federal Ministry of Health has put all measures in place to end polio in the country. 

He, however, said that the most important thing is for all children that are previously inaccessible in the North-East to have access and get vaccinations before the certification. 

The minister commended the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, for routine immunization in the country, noting that there is great improvement on the coverage of immunization. 

“There is tremendous improvement on the routine immunization, but we are not there yet, we need to work hard to ensure that we reach every child so that we can beat our chest and say yes we are there,” Adewole said. 

In his remarks, the chairman, Polio Plus Committee, Rotary International, Dr. Tunji Funsho, said that polio eradication is an expensive venture that requires everybody to be on board. 

According to him, “This donation would inspire other partners to come on board and support the Nigeria government, we in polio plus committee were reaching more and more children, more and more areas that are hitherto not accessible particularly with the support of the military". 

Also speaking at the event, UNICEF Deputy Country Representatives Nigeria, Dr. Pernille Ironside said that the donation was to complement government effort on polio eradication in Nigeria. 

She said they are so interested to ensure that Nigeria is certified as polio free country, being the most populous country in Africa. 

“If Nigeria succeed other African Countries would succeed", she said.

 

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