President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to continue strengthening the primary healthcare system and the inbuilt routine immunization strategy, using various data and technology-driven tools.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, made the promise at the Africa Polio-Free certificate celebration, on Saturday in Abuja.
“We shall deploy the valuable material and human resource for health assets that have been built up over the decades of fighting polio.
“Towards the goal of supporting the prevention of other disease patterns, strengthening our health system, as we are currently doing with the COVID-19 pandemic response,” he said.
The president said that it was a good example of what the country could achieve collectively as a people, when they work together.
“We gather to celebrate the certification of Nigeria and with us the continent of Africa, as polio free.
“Our own certification is the result of the collective efforts of many devoted and enthusiastic individuals, organizations who believed in the vision of a polio-free Nigeria and went over and beyond the ordinary to add value to the ideal,” Buhari said.
He said that the achievement was possible with the help of development partners who mostly brought technical support and guidance, as well as sponsors and donors who brought financial support.
He also applauded the traditional, religious and community leaders who brought moral and social support, as well as other partners such as the Rotary International, who helped to set the goal and direct the course.
Buhari commended the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) for the global conglomerate of which the Rotary International is a key member, for generating and driving the process that took Nigeria to the desired destination.
He urged the GPEI not to relent in its efforts until the entire world is free of the virus.
The Governor of Ekiti State and also the Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), Dr Kayode Fayemi, commended all the partners that worked with the forum in ensuring that polio became history in the country.
The Chairman of Nigeria National Polio Plus Committee (NNPPC), Dr Tunji Funsho, said that the committee contributed to the eradication of polio in the country.
Funsho commended stakeholders for their constant contributions towards ending polio in African.