NIGERIA is about three months away from being certified polio free, the National Chairman, Nigerian National Polio Plus Committee, Dr. Tunji Funsho, has said.
Nigeria alongside Pakistan and war torn Afghanistan are three polio endemic countries. By August this year, Nigeria would have done three years without recording an outbreak of the disease, which is prerequisite for World Health Organistaion (WHO) certification of the country as polio free.
He spoke on Friday night in Abuja at the unveiling of Pyno and Timaya as polio Ambassadors.
Funsho noted that the country would be saving about $50 billion in 10 years’ time if it is able to get polio free certification.
Currently, the country is spending about $50 million on polio annually.
He said, “By August ending, an expert committee will come and certify Nigeria Polio free.
“By September, Nigeria will be declared Polio Free after three years that we have not had polio cases, which is since September 2016.
Speaking on the gain of eradicating polio, Funsho said, “If federal government has a budget on polio eradication, it has been on the average of $50m. The last budget was slashed drastically but it has now gone back to $50m. If you convert that to 10 years, it is a lot of money.
District Governor of Rotary International, District 9125, Nigeria, Hon. Chief Elvis Chukwu, said “Rotary International promised children of the world to eradicate polio from the surface of the earth. We feel that when children are paralyzed, it affects their education, welfare and every other thing, and it is endemic. Rotary has succeeded in doing that. As at today, there are only three countries in the world that still has polio; Pakistan, Afganistan and Nigeria and Nigeria is on the verge of being certified polio free between now and end of August because since last three years, we have not experienced wide polio virus.
Phyno on his part said he was ready to help “spread the news, and represent the Rotary in letting people be aware of polio and fight it. From the messages passed to me, I will pass same to my followership. I have a followership; I am sending the messages across to them.”