Buhari receives award for commitment to ending polio
From EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – THE Rotary has presented President Muhammadu Buhari with its Polio Eradication Champion Award in recognition of his and government’s efforts to keep Nigeria polio-free.
Last year, the World Health Organisation (WHO) removed Nigeria from its list of polio-endemic countries after the country went one year without reporting a case of the disease.
The last reported case of polio in Nigeria was July 24, 2014, in south Kano State. Nigeria was the last country on the African continent to report active transmission of the wild poliovirus.
Rotary International President, KR Ravindran, said progress against polio in Nigeria, while a tremendous achievement, remained fragile.
“President Buhari and the Nigerian government have shown they are equal to this challenge, maintaining strong commitment and public support for polio immunization in the face of zero cases.”
Shortly after taking office in July 2015, Buhari demonstrated his personal commitment to ending polio by publically immunising his young granddaughter.
In September, he launched polio immunization campaigns in his hometown of Daura, Katsina, by vaccinating local children.
Mostly recently, he convened a Presidential Task Force on Polio Eradication, through which 36 Nigerian State Governors reaffirmed their commitment to keeping Nigeria polio-free.
Nigeria has invested more than $112 million in its own polio eradication activities.
Rotary brings together a global network of volunteer leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges.
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