United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has donated the sum of $5,732,360 to Nigerian Polio Plus Committee, Rotary International to strengthen the organisation’s efforts in the fight against polio in Nigeria.
Mrs Boade Akinola, Director Media and Public Relations, Federal Ministry of Health made this known in a statement issued on Friday in Abuja.
The statement disclosed that the donation was handed over to Dr. Tunji Funsho, Chairman Nigerian Polio Plus Committee, Rotary International in Abuja.
It said the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole commended UNICEF for the donation and called on other partners to emulate UNICEF by supporting Nigeria on its efforts to become a polio-free country.
The statement quoted Adewole as saying that Nigeria was on its’ last lap of ending polio, adding that in the next couple of months Nigeria would be certified polio-free.
The minister reiterated that all children that were previously in-accessible in the North-East must access vaccination before the certification.
The minister commended National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) for the coverage of the routine immunisation in the country.
“There is tremendous improvement on the routine immunisation, but we are not there yet, we need to work hard to ensure that we reach every child so that we can beat our chest and say yes we are there” Adewole said.
The statement also quoted the Chairman Polio Plus Committee, Rotary international, Dr. Tunji Funsho, commending UNICEF for the donation.
He said the committee was raising fund for the final push against polio, stressing that task was an expensive venture that required support of everybody.
“This donation would inspire other partners to come on board and support Nigeria government.
“We in polio plus committee were reaching more and more children, more and more areas that are hitherto not accessible particularly with the support of the Military,’’ he said.
Similarly, UNICEF Deputy Country Representatives Nigeria, Dr. Pernille Ironside was quoted as saying that the donation was to complement government’s effort on polio eradication in Nigeria.
She said UNICEF was interested in ensuring that Nigeria was certified as polio-free country, being the most populous country in Africa, “If Nigeria succeeds, other African countries would succeed.” She said.