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CHANGE: Polio Returns To Nigeria After 2 Years Because Of Buhari’s Failure

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Nigeria’s progress towards attaining a polio-free status has suffered a setback with reports of two fresh infections of wild polio virus in Borno state.

The World Health Organization (WHO) was set to declare the country polio free if it made it to July 24, 2017 without outbreak of a new case.

The last known infection was July 24, 2014 in Kano State. Nigeria was the last country on the continent to report active transmission of the wild polio virus.

ALSO READ: Nigeria Hits Major Milestone In Fight AgainstPolio

Health authorities have been silent about the new cases in Gwarzo and Jere local government areas of Borno.

It is unclear how the WHO will respond to the resurgence of the wild polio virus infections in Borno.

It would be recalled that last week, a number of civil society organisations raised concern about N12.8 billion immunisation fund yet to be released only four months to the end of 2016.

“We have less than five months to the end of 2016 yet nothing has been released for immunization, for procurement of vaccines and other logistics”, said Dr. Aminu Magashi, project director for Community Health and Research Initiative, part of the coalition Partnership for Advocacy for Child and Family Health, PACFaH.

“As a nation we cannot continue to depend on development partners to buy the vaccines we need in the country yet we have funds for such purposes in our budget”, Dr. Magashi was quoted to have said.

The Buhari Polio Factor

Two new cases of polio have been reported in Borno state, Nigeria, according to The Guardian. This dashes the country’s hopes of being certified polio-free in 2017.
In August 2015, three months after becoming president of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari promised to ensure that Nigeria is certified polio-free by 2017. By then the country had gone over a year without a new case of the disease and by July this year Nigeria marked two years without incident.

“I want to reaffirm the commitment of the Federal Government to sustain the gains and momentum to enable Nigeria achieve certification by 2017,” said Buhari at meetings with governors of polio-vulnerable states and members of a high level advocacy team. “We must make Nigeria Polio free in 2017. We must put all our efforts to achieve this milestone for the sake of our children, future generations and the over-all health and well being of the nation.”

However, it was all talk by the president. In 2016, the federal government has still not released any money for routine immunisation despite allocating N13 billion for that purpose. Polio is not the only disease for which kids are now at serious risk in the country due to the delay in release of funds, but other diseases like measles, pneumonia, and meningitis.

According to The Guardian report, health authorities in Abuja have remained silent, with key officials refusing to be quoted and top officials choosing to call it a “suspicion” for now.

The two cases of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) were discovered in Gwarzo and Jere Local Government Areas of Borno State, yesterday.

It was learnt WHO could announce the development at a press conference in Geneva tomorrow.

via Information Nigeria, The Scoop

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