The minister of health, Oyebuchi Chukwu, on Tuesday said Nigeria had been certified as a guinea worm-free country.
Chukwu made this known in Ibadan at a symposium tagged: “Global Perspective in Emerging Diseases”.
“For any country to be certified as a Guinea worm-free country, you must not record any Guinea worm for three consecutive year,” he stated.
The success recorded in guinea worm eradication will make the World Health Organisation, WHO, to present a certificate to President Goodluck Jonathan in December, Chukwu disclosed.
The minister said further that although polio was still endemic, the transmission of Type 3 virus had been interrupted for more than one year for the first time in the history of the country.
He also said that maternal mortality ratio had dropped from 545 per 100,000 in 2008 to 350 per 100,000 in 2012 and that the prevalence of malaria and HIV/AIDS were also declining as evidenced by the recent national survey.
Leading medical practitioner, Sunny Kuku, in a keynote address on Nigeria’s health sector in the last 40 years, said that the country had fallen short of the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs.
According to him, most Nigerians still travel abroad for medical care because they have lost confidence in the healthcare system.
“Our healthcare facilities are fast deteriorating and are unable to meet the medical needs of our people while life expectancy is still under 50 years,” he said.
Kuku urged the federal government to improve funding of the three tiers of health institutions in the country.