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Nigeria marks a great milestone by reaching the three (3) year mark without any case of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) anywhere in the country. #SupportImmunization #EndPolio @NPHCDA

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Nigeria marks a great milestone by reaching the three (3) year mark without any case of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) anywhere in the country. The last case of WPV was detected on 21st August in 2016, in Borno State. Since then, NO new case of the Wild Polio Virus has been detected in any part of Nigeria! This is a MAJOR step towards certifying the country and Africa WPV-free as Nigeria is the last polio endemic country in the continent.

This incredible achievement has been made possible by the consistent effort of the Federal, State and Local Governments of Nigeria – development partners, traditional and religious leaders, as well as thousands of front-line health workers, and community volunteers.

As part of its polio eradication initiative, the Government of Nigeria employed several innovative strategies and outreach initiatives. Market, hospital and Nomadic vaccinations, vaccinations at IDP camps, local and international border vaccinations, vaccinations at social events and engagement of the military were some of the unique methods used to reach children in conflict-prone areas especially in the northeast zone.

Polio mass immunization campaigns will continue with the same great drive and commitment to sustain this success and ensure all children are protected against polio and other vaccine preventable diseases.

The existing polio mass campaign is called the Immunization Plus Days (IPD). This is where the oral polio vaccine (OPV) is administered to children under 5 years of age notwithstanding their previous immunization status. This campaign will be sustained beyond 2020 to boost the population immunity and ensure the WPV-free status is maintained so that our children and environment are safeguarded from all types of the poliovirus.

Necessary management and financial support for IPDs needs to be provided by political leaders at all levels (Federal, State, LGA & Ward), while the mobilization of parents and caregivers to continuously accept vaccination for their children needs to be reinforced by traditional leaders. At all times, every parent and caregiver need to present their children for vaccination against polio and other vaccine preventable diseases.

Sustained consistent technical and financial support from local and international partners and donors is vital to the programme until the job is finished as ending all forms of polio in Nigeria and across the African continent is a success story that needs to be completed.

The opportunity for every child to be reached with lifesaving oral polio vaccines as well as improving routine immunization coverage is KEY. Sustained intensive polio mass campaigns is the best way to ensure this is achieved.

The oral polio vaccine (OPV) remains the best and tested tool for achieving polio eradication. It is safe, effective, and responsible for the eradication of over 99% of polio cases worldwide over the past 30 years.

We count on the continued support of all stakeholders to ensure sustained progress in this drive to free the country from all types of the polio virus. Consequently, all children need to be regularly vaccinated at health facilities and during immunization plus days. Also, the disease needs to be monitored through a highly sensitive surveillance system to detect the virus anywhere.

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