United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) has donated the sum of Five Million, Seven Hundred and Thirty-Two Thousand, Three Hundred and Sixty Dollar (USD 5,732,360) to continue the fight against polio in Nigeria. The donation was handed over to Dr. Tunji Funsho, Chairman Nigerian Polio Plus Committee, Rotary International in Abuja.
Speaking during the occasion which took place in Abuja on Thursday 11th April 2019, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole commended UNICEF for the donation and called on other partners to support Nigeria on its efforts to become polio free country.
The Minister said Nigeria is on its’ last lap to end polio, in the next couple of months Nigeria would be certified polio free. However, the Minister said that most important thing is that all children that are previously in-accessible in the North-East must access vaccination before the certification.
The Minister commended National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for routine immunization in the country. He said there is great improvement on the coverage of immunization.
“There is tremendous improvement on the routine immunization, but we are not there yet, we need to work hard to ensure that we reach every child so that we can beat our chest and say yes we are there” Adewole said.
In his remarks, the Chairman Polio Plus Committee, Rotary international, Dr. Tunji Funsho, commended UNICEF for the donation.
He said Polio Plus Committee is raising fund for the final push against polio. He added that polio eradication is an expensive venture that requires everybody to be on board.
“This donation would inspire other partners to come on board and support the Nigeria government, we in polio plus committee were reaching more and more children, more and more areas that are hitherto not accessible particularly with the support of the Military.
Presenting the donation, the UNICEF Deputy Country Representatives Nigeria, Dr. Pernille Ironside said that the donation was to complement government effort on polio eradication in Nigeria. She said they are so interested to ensure that Nigeria is certified as polio free country, being the most populous country in Africa, “If Nigeria succeed other African Countries would succeed.” She said.