By NewsDesk @infectiousdiseasenews
On Friday, the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) concluded its final field visit to Nigeria to determine the country’s polio-free status.
The Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) for wild poliomyelitis eradication carried out similar field visits in all the 47 countries of the World Health Organization (WHO) African Region to verify the absence of wild poliovirus while ensuring that disease surveillance is undergoing according to certification-standard. It has already accepted the documentation of 43 African countries with only Cameroon, Central African Republic, Nigeria, and South Sudan remaining.
For its final field verification visit in Nigeria, the ARCC visited selected health facilities at Central, State, Local Government Authority and Ward levels in the states of Kwara, Kogi in the North Central Zone; Borno and Bauchi in the North East Zone; and Kano and Sokoto in the North West Zone.
“This verification visit is an opportunity for Nigeria to demonstrate to the rest of the world that it is on the verge of ending the chapter of wild poliovirus from its history. The virus has paralysed thousands and killed scores of Nigerians for decades. Today, every Nigerian is very excited about the prospects of this historic achievement,” said Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of Nigeria’s National Public Health Care and Development Agency.
The commission will finalize documentation review of the four countries in June before making its final decision on the certification of wild poliovirus eradication in the African Region.
No wild poliovirus has been detected anywhere in Africa since 2016. This stands in stark contrast to 1996 when wild poliovirus paralysed more than 75,000 children across every country on the continent.
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