Abuja – Nigeria National Polioplus Committee on Thursday urged Nigerians to put in more efforts to ensure that the country was awarded certification of Polio free status by 2017.
Dr Tunji Funsho, Chairman of the committee and member of the Rotary International, made the call at the national field workers award in Abuja.
Funsho noted that the 90 beneficiaries of the award were the foot soldiers that had worked at the village level to give every child the Polio vaccine.
He described them as the brain behind the declaration of Nigeria as non polio endemic country by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
According to him, the award is in recognition of the work well done, which ordinarily, they will not have been recognised.
He, however, said that declaration of Nigeria as non polio endemic country was not enough to relax and called for more efforts to ensure total eradication of polio in the country.
Funsho said that Nigeria was a step closer to being polio free and urged the people to ensure that future generations are Polio free.
“Nigerians all over the world were delighted over the announcement that Nigeria is no longer on the polio endemic list.
“Though an important milestone, we must remain polio free for two more years to be declared polio free, which is the ultimate goal.
“Moving forward, the Nigeria programme must bear in mind that Nigeria’s long battle with polio was partly as the result of many factors.
“Especially in the northern part of the country, where large number of children were missed for a long period due to many parents being misinformed on the efficacy of the vaccine.
“The reason we need to celebrate them is because we have worked so hard with them as our front line foot soldiers to get to the point where WHO has certified Nigeria to be a non polio endemic country,“ Funsho said.
In his speech, Dr Mike Omotosho, District Governor, Rotary International, assured Nigerians of the organisation’s full support to immunise every child against Polio.
Omotosho said “ as long as there is still one case of polio outside or anywhere in the world, there is still the possibility of polio anywhere in the country.
“We must all work together to ensure that we do not see any single case of polio in the next two years.
“We selected these awardees base on their commitment, dedication and even loyalty to ensure that every child was actually immunised,“ he said. (NAN)