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Buhari Vaccinates Granddaughter, Vows To Eliminate Polio


President Buhari administering the polio vaccine on his granddaughter.

President Buhari administering the polio vaccine on his granddaughter.

PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has declared that his administration will do all within its powers to ensure that no Nigerian child is ever infected with polio again.

The President personally vaccinated one of his grandchildren against polio to underscore his determination.

Speaking at a brief event at the State House to mark Nigeria’s successful completion of one year without any reported case of the Wild Polio Virus, Buhari pledged that the Federal Government would mobilize and deploy all necessary resources to efficiently complete the task of eradicating polio from the country.

“Today, (yesterday) July 25, 2015, Nigeria has successfully completed one year without any case reported of the Wild Polio Virus. Achieving this feat has placed us firmly on the path to eradicating this paralyzing disease from our land.

“I seize this opportunity to call on governors, traditional and religious leaders, the private sector and our mothers and fathers to redouble their efforts, to ensure that every child and every new born baby is vaccinated with the polio vaccine and other life saving routine vaccines,” Buhari said.

He thanked all Nigerians and foreign partners who have supported the country’s polio eradication programme in several ways, saying that he looked forward to the formal declaration of Nigeria as a polio-free country in 2017.

The Nigeria National Polioplus Committee (NNPPC), at the weekend, also celebrated one year without a case of polio in the country, with the symbolic planting of a tree.

“In Nigeria, we are one year polio free, which the tree planting symbolizes. We need to continue to water it, to ensure that in the next two years, we do not have any cases of polio and we are declared totally free of the virus,” said NNPPC Chairman, Dr. Tunji Funsho, at the venue of the event held at Polio House, Rotary Centre, GRA, Ikeja, Lagos.

Meanwhile, Rotary International, District 9125 Nigeria, has congratulated Nigeria and its partners for achieving one year without the disease, adding that a lot more work still needs to be done to qualify Nigeria for the World Health Organization (WHO) certification in 2017.

Dr. Tunji Funsho said: “We are not just commemorating one year without polio case in Nigeria today, but also reminding ourselves of the need to continue to press further until Nigeria is declared totally free after two years from today.

“As long as we continue to maintain a very robust surveillance system, our children being immunized, and we ensure that any case of paralysis is picked up to ensure it is not polio, we will be saying bye to polio in Nigeria in the next two years. This is a great day of joy, and at the same time a day of anticipation for the World Health Organisation (WHO) to declare Nigeria a completely polio free country.”

Commenting on how much it cost Rotary International to eradicate the disease, Funsho said though, it is almost impossible to quantify, resources put together to eradicate the disease in monetary terms could confidently be put at $7.5 billion US dollars, adding that of that amount, about 200 million US dollars was expended on Nigeria alone, while Rotarians all over the world have spent millions of man-hours in campaigns.

He said: “I am happy to report that Pakistan has reduced the number of cases in that country from 306 to 28 this year. Afghanistan has followed suit by coming down from 26 cases to eight. It is coming down, and we are using the good lesson we are learning in Nigeria on these two countries that remain, just as we have taken good lesson from India and used in Nigeria, to achieve some of the results we got.”

He advised Rotarians to keep focus on advocacy with government and communities to ensure immunization continues, as well as fundraising.

“We have proved that it can be done and this will encourage our partners as well as our funders that all the resources they have put in were not in vain,” he said.

Funsho, however, warned of the danger of loosing the momentum if funding and campaign stops, saying the virus could slip in through the back door.

“We have not stopped despite challenges like confrontation with different groups including Boko Haram in the North, and cultural and religious groups, and we are determined to see polio out of Nigeria and the entire world,” he said.

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  • LLLeon

    This is a great way to begin his administration.

    • Chinonoso Ukaegbu

      Administration that claims glory for jobs done and dusted by the PGEJ regime. Wild polio was eradicated in Nigeria over a yr ago and Nigeria is just on the waiting list of WHO for certification as polio -free country.

  • Blonde Johnny Bass

    He did not eliminate polio Goodluck did, it too nearly 6 years and people lost their lives in the process, some people in Kano near Buhari’s house killed Polio vaccinating officers 4 years ago, so nobody should try and take credit for the hard work done by the past government.

    • Muyiwa Bakare

      @Blonde Johnny Bass – You must get ready to sulk for the next 4 Years. Buhari was referring to Nigeria getting rid of Polio not his government .PMB does not own any house in Kano,so when you choose to run mischief look well well. PMB is unshaken with this Otueke child soldiers.He has already exceeded expectation in under how many week?If you were keen on GEJ’S work.Madam Allison Madueke(Kola Aluko and Jide),will no have gotten GEJ shaken to his marrows now…Keep watching this space mate!

      • Blonde Johnny Bass

        “Buhari vows to eliminate polio give the impression that his government will fight an already won battle, stop claim he has done anything yet, all the positive in the country today were done by the past government, Power, gas, rail, agriculture, airports , the economy were all hard work of planners with education and not what we have now. Travelling to US even reduce the image of Nigeria abroad. I am watching your empty space mate.

        • Pamela
        • Muyiwa Bakare

          I am glad you said he gave an impression or your interpretation.You must exist in some other planet to talk about power,airports etc. If the so called GEJ administration achieved all that you mentioned,then that should have earned him an automatic passage to Aso Rock once again,with the 21 Billion they raised to buy the electorates. You truly sound like Nigeria has suddenly become some developed country.You must have held your head in shame the way PMB was received in the US.I am struggling to understand your understanding of Education.PDP spent 16 years looting and increasing criminality in Nigeria.Yahoo Yahoo and 419 got to an unprecedented height. GEJ was only remembered for his hat when he went to the US ( Mind you not as an invited guest of the President),but for a united Nations visit ( As his government was so corrupt to be invited).All you need to do is listen to the words of John Kerry,President Obama and the other business leaders that received him in DC. Can do and integrity was synonymous with PMB.Change is here and I want to be part of it,not sure where the tsunami take you,dude!.

  • Chinonoso Ukaegbu

    Polio is already eradicated in Nigeria by PGEJ. GMB look for the way to curb HIV and Malaria in Nigeria. Give honor to whom it is due.

    • Biola Bello

      No one government killed Polio. The only way to kill it is effort by successive governments. GEJ built on the past. Others will build where GEJ left off. It is not a done deal and Nigeria is not free of Polio yet.

      • Chinonoso Ukaegbu

        Nageriaa is polio-free, only awaiting WHO certification. No single case of wild polio in Nigeria currently.