The World Health Organisation, WHO, has officially certified Nigeria as a Guinea Worm-Free country.
Minister of health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, who made the announcement on Wednesday while presenting the WHO certificate of clean bill of health, to President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja.
The ceremony was held during the first Federal Executive Council, FEC, meeting in 2014, which was presided over by the President at the council chamber of the Presidential Villa.
Chukwu said that sequel to the alarming rate of guinea worm disease in the country, the Nigeria Guinea Worm Eradication Programme, NIGEP, was established in 1988, which proved effective as the country recorded its last case of guinea worm disease in November 2008.
The minister noted that although over 900 guinea worm disease rumour were reported after 2008, none of the cases was found to be guinea worm disease upon investigation.
Responding, Jonathan said that it was a milestone attainment which coincided with the period the country is marking its centenary, adding that the achievement further attested to the government’s efforts at ensuring that the country was rid of all kinds of endemic diseases.
“The certification by WHO is a global recognition of how far we have come and the success of the work that has been done to rid our nation of this scourge. Eradication of guinea worm disease that has long plagued many parts of our country has placed interminable burden on our citizens. As a government, we have been working very hard and today we have received the good news,” he said.
Jonathan assured that his administration would double its efforts to also attain the status of a wild polio free nation.