Nigeria- The Last African Nation To Be Declared Polio Free

The South-east Asian nations like India has been maintaining its polio-free status for the last 3 years. Africa begins its countdown to being polio-free as Nigeria maintains three years without any disease.

The World Head Organisation has reported that Africa has gone far without a case of wild polio being detected. Africa is eagerly waiting for the status as a polio-free nation and they will be acquiring the status by early next year following an independent evaluating process.

“It’s a big deal for Nigeria, for Africa and for the world,” says Timji Funsho of Rotary International, the charity which has been at the forefront of the country’s fight against the disease.

“We are confident that very soon we will be back here trumpeting the certification that countries have, once and for all, kicked polio out of Africa,” says Dr. Matshidiso Moeti, WHO

The last case of wild polio that the continent faced was on 21st August 2016 in Nigeria.

“It has involved men and women volunteering in the thousands, sometimes putting themselves in harm’s way,” he added.

The last time Nigeria saw polio cases was in August 2016 during the Boko Haram jihadist insurgency. The WHO states by saying that the incidence of Polio worldwide has been reduced by more than 99 percent while more than 350,000 children were paralyzed annually in 125 countries. If the continent is declared polio-free the virus will only remain in only two countries- Afghanistan and Pakistan.

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Written by Sanghamitra Gogoi

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