The German Government expresses satisfaction with Nigeria’s efforts in polio Eradication
Abuja 20 January, 2020 - Having achieved the milestone of reaching three years without a reporting of case of wild poliovirus, The German Government represented by members of its Parliament expressed satisfaction with the progress in Polio Eradication in Nigeria.
The German Government has been a long term supporter of the Polio Eradication Program in Nigeria; it has provided tremendous and longstanding financial support over the years with grants to fill critical funding gaps for vaccines and campaign operations across the Country.
While addressing the German Ambassador, Her Excellency Mrs Brigitt Ory, and the Members of Parliament, during their visit to a Family Health Clinic in Garki, Abuja to observe a vaccination session and surveillance documentation, Dr Usman Adamu, the Incident Manager National Polio Emergency Operations Center, who represented Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), traced the historical financial partnership with Germany on Polio Eradication to over 10 years ago. He revealed that Nigeria has over the years, received millions of Euros from Germany as grants to Polio Eradication Initiative. “These funds, which came in at different times were used to purchase vaccines and finance operations of special immunization campaigns” he said.
“Just recently, in December 2019, the German Government released 26.8 Million Euros (€ 26,800,000) channelled through the World Health Organization and UNICEF to the Nigerian government to support polio operations and procure vaccines” he added.
In his remarks, the Officer in Charge (OiC), World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Clement Peter stated “Since the detection of the wild poliovirus three years ago, Nigerian Government with support from Government of Germany and other partners implemented various innovations during outbreak response (OBR) and scheduled polio campaigns to halt transmission of the virus. Surveillance has been strengthened and technological innovations such as e-Surveillance and use of audio visual techniques for AFP detection and expansion of community informant network helped to further increase sensitivity of surveillance to detect any suspect cases.”
He added that “In spite of this progress, the current success in Nigeria is still very fragile as insecurity, which hinders access to some children, and suboptimal routine immunization coverage across several states, pose a threat to sustaining recent gains. Forty-seven percent (47%) of children nationally have not received their third dose of polio vaccine, whilst 19% of children in Nigeria have not received any vaccination at all.”
He then called on non GPEI partners and donors such as Germany to sustain their technical and financial support to the programme until the job is done (global certification of WPV1-free status, certification of vaccine-derived polio virus (VDPV) free status).
Speaking on behalf of the Government of Germany, a Member of Parliament who is also part of the budget committee acknowledged the achievements of NPHCDA, WHO, and UNICEF in Polio Eradication and the positive impact they have made in the journey. “We are happy to be on ground to see how our money is being spent, despite a lot of bad stories that have been circulating about Nigeria, it is a job well done. It is very heartwarming to come and see these positive achievements and we look forward to celebrating a certified Polio free Nigeria with you all in June 2020.”
The last wild polio virus case was detected in August 2016, in Monguno Local Government (LGA) of Borno State. As we approach certification in 2020, WHO commits to remain remain vigilant in their support to immunization and surveillance efforts, ensuring we look closely for the virus and reach every child with vaccines.