Polio eradication debt owed Nigerians – Osinbajo

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Children living with Polio

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has explained that the eradication of polio remained the greatest debt the government owed to Nigerians.

He said it is the Abuja Commitment made by the Federal and State governments to provide active leadership of polio eradication through routine immunization.

Osinbajo made the commitment at the 92nd edition of the National Economic Council Meeting.

“The Abuja Commitment is a promise we all made; it is now a debt that we owe to the Nigerian people. We must individually and collectively work to achieve the Abuja commitment indicators.”

Osinbajo said the Federal Government remains resolutely committed to the crucial cause of polio eradication in the country while addressing the State Governors and members of the Presidential Taskforce on Polio Eradication who were present at the meeting.

He thanked the Ministry of Health and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for the remarkable progress that has been made in the polio programme.

He also commended them for ensuring that the country has not recorded any new case of the wild poliovirus in the last two years, encouraging them to sustain the tempo.

The Vice President commended the supportive efforts of the Nigerian military, stating, “Our military will continue to collaborate with you to provide security and support as you ensure that all eligible children in every part of the country are reached with the polio vaccine and other health and humanitarian interventions.”

He added that there would be need to collaborate with our neighbours such as the Niger Republic and Lake Chad Islands.

He urged state governors to collaborate closely with the Federal Government especially in the timely provision of funds, rigorous oversight, and other support that would fast-track on-going efforts to totally eradicate polio and strengthen routine immunization.

The Vice President commiserated with all the families of health workers who lost their lives in the course of delivering services to humanity, in particular, the families of Saifura Husain Ahmed Khorsa and Hauwa Liman who were kidnapped and killed by Boko Haram.

He also extended his sincere condolence to the ICRC, whose staff the two courageous and committed ladies belonged.

In his own remarks, the Honourable Minister of State for Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, told the Council that the National Emergency Routine Immunization Coordination Centre has been driving innovation strategies to improve routine immunization since its establishment in July 2017.