Africa is set to be declared polio-free as Nigeria marks three years without recording a single case of polio infection, thus moving a step closer towards polio-free certification by the World Health Organisation, WHO, in early 2020.
The last time a case of the wild poliovirus was reported in Nigeria was August 21, 2016, in Borno State.
Nigeria is the last country in Africa to record wild poliovirus infections, and if no more cases are found in the next few months, Africa could be declared polio-free.
The last reservoir of polio in Nigeria was Borno State in the northeast, where the Boko Haram insurgency prevented health workers from vaccinating children.
Celebrating the landmark, the chairman of Nigeria’s governor’s forum, Kayode Fayemi expressed hope that the trend will be sustained.
Meanwhile, WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said this three-year landmark achieved by Nigeria sets in motion a comprehensive evaluation process by the Africa Regional Certification Commission to determine if the entire WHO African Region of 47 countries, indeed, could be declared wild polio-free.