WHO removes Nigeria from polio-endemic list

The World Health Organization (WHO) removed Nigeria from the list of polio-endemic countries Monday.

While Nigeria has not has reported positive test for wild polio virus (WPV) in 15 months, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only countries that remain polio-endemic. In 1988, there were 125 countries on the list.

“It is my pleasure to congratulate the people and the government of Nigeria on the interruption of wild poliovirus transmission and to inform that Nigeria has been officially removed from the list of polio-endemic countries,” WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr. Matshidiso Moeti said.

Moeti called for continued vigilance, including better access to immunizations, mainly in the under-served, high-risk and insecure areas of the country.

“Health care workers, community mobilizers, religious and traditional leaders have been the real unsung heroes in helping to reach every last child with life-saving polio vaccine," Moeti said.

A ceremony took place to celebrate Nigeria's removal from the list and was attended by the permanent secretary of the Federal Ministry of Health, WHO country representatives in Nigeria, traditional and religious leaders and representatives of key GPEI partners.

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