EFFORTS to check the menace of polio in the country have received a boost with Nigeria and India partnering on how best to reach communities at high risk of the disease.
But the joint accounting system at the state and local council level and the absence of the national grid at the third tier of government have been identified as outstanding issues even as the Health Reform Foundation of Nigeria (HERFON) has urged civil society organisations to find ways of strengthening accountability and proffering solutions to the challenges of routine immunisation.
Minister of State for Health, Muhammad Ali Pate, who spoke at an interactive session in Abuja, Wednesday, stressed that sustaining the current tempo of immunisation in the country was critical to reaching more children and eradicating polio.
He said: “I do not see anything what India is doing that is impossible in Nigeria. We have a relationship with India that enhances the work we are doing.
A few of their medical personnel come to work with some Nigeria officials at high risk areas. They are providing World Health Organisation officials who worked with India. They learnt a lot from Nigeria in the past and there is a lot we can also learn from such officials now.”
According to the President in charge of Global Development at Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Christopher Elias:”22 months ago, India recorded the last case of polio, giving hope that polio eradication is possible. Key to India’s success is social mobilisation at the community level.”
Noting that polio cases were limited to a few local councils, he said Nigeria could win its polio war using the micro plan strategy that India used in order to reach more persons in rural areas even as he commended the Federal and state governments for the political will to fight the polio war.
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