Nigeria gets 17% of Rotary’s $96.5m grant to stop polio
The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has activated an Emergency Operation Centre (EOC) to ensure effective management of cholera in the territory. Director, Public Health, Health and Human Services Secretariat, FCTA, Dr. Humphrey Okoroukwu, disclosed this yesterday in Abuja.The Guardian checks recorded at least seven deaths so far from cholera outbreak in different communities of Sauka, Mpape, Kubwa and Ushafa in the FCT.
Confirming the incident, Okoroukwu explained that the EOC would be working on four pillars of surveillance, case management, laboratory and health promotion, education and community mobilisation.According to him, officers from his department and the councils will work to ensure robust surveillance to bring the disease under control.He said there would henceforth be more efficient laboratory system to hasten test results.
The director noted that health education and promotion would be enhanced to sensitise residents in every nook and cranny of the territory.Meanwhile Nigeria will get $16.1 million (about 17 per cent) from the $96.5 million grant announced by Rotary International yesterday to end polio. To support polio eradication efforts in countries where it remains endemic, Rotary is allocating the majority of the funds to Afghanistan ($22.9 million) and Pakistan ($21.7 million).
According to a statement made available to The Guardian, the grants are in support of the global effort to end polio, a vaccine-preventable disease that once paralysed hundreds of thousands of children each year.
The announcement came as Nigeria marks two years without any reported case of wild poliovirus, following four reported cases in 2016.“Nigeria has prevented further cases of wild poliovirus, thanks to the improved surveillance and rapid response protocols Rotary and its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners have supported, particularly in Borno,” said Dr. Tunji Funsho, chair of Rotary’s Nigeria PolioPlus Committee.
“We must remain vigilant about maintaining political and financial support to ensure strengthened immunisation practices as we redouble our efforts towards ending polio in Nigeria and around the globe.”Pakistan has made strides in reducing reported cases of wild poliovirus, having lowered its case count from 306 in 2014 to only eight reported cases in 2017.
“Nigeria’s progress proves that halting the spread of wild poliovirus is possible,” said Aziz Memon, chair of Rotary’s Pakistan PolioPlus Committee. “Although we currently have a record low number of reported cases of polio in Pakistan, we must remain vigilant about implementing the rapid response and surveillance protocols Rotary and its Global Polio Eradication Initiative partners have established and focus on accelerating our efforts toward eradicating polio.”
While significant strides have been made against the paralysing disease, wild poliovirus is still a threat in parts of the world, with 10 cases in Afghanistan and three cases in Pakistan this year so far. As long as a single child has polio, all children are at risk, which underscores the need for ongoing funding and political commitment to eradication.