Nigeria to end Polio by December – VP, Shettima

The Vice President, Kashim Shettima has said that the government will do everything to eradicate polio by the end of 2023.Speaking during a meeting attended by some governors under the auspices of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), at the Banquet Hall, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Shettima stated that Nigeria will not relent in its effort to completely halt polio by December.He also disclosed that Nigeria’s three-dose pentavalent vaccine coverage had improved from 33% in 2016 to 57% in 2021.He said;“The proposal is to provide timely domestic financing for the procurement of vaccines, which couldn’t have come sooner, to boost our industrial capacity to produce vaccines.“The variant polio virus has declined in Nigeria by 84% from 2021, falling to fewer than 200 cases in 2022.“The federal government and our respective state governments are going to set in place a transparent process and structure to undo the reality of the country as one with one of the highest proportions of non-immunised infants in the world over the last decade.“The federal government is committed to eradicating variant poliovirus by the end of the year ensuring that every Nigerian child is covered in the routine immunisation campaigns.“We are going to work together to ensure that these vaccines are made available even to zero-dose children, of which ours, at 2 million, are the highest in the world after India.”Also speaking at the meeting, Microsoft Founder Bill Gates reiterated the commitment of his foundation to commit $7 billion to Africa in the next four years.Former Africa’s richest man, Aliko Dangote added that he and Bill Gates have been partnering with both the federal and state governments for several years, supporting the efforts in eradicating polio and improving routine immunisation, nutrition and primary healthcare in the country.