Musdapha Ilo, Maiduguri
The prospect of Nigeria stamping out polio out by 2015 received a boost Saturday as the World Health Organisation, WHO, declared Borno State polio free.
WHO Representative in charge of the state, M. Mahmud, made the declaration at the flagging off of the 2014 polio immunization exercise held at Yerwa Clinic.
Borno State had been among the only ten states reputed to have reported cases of the polio virus, but Mahmud noted that since the beginning of the year there has not been any recorded case of polio virus in Borno state going by its analysis and monitoring exercise.
The Borno State government promised that ot would maintain its status of a polio-free state this year.
The commissioner for Health, Salma Kolo, said that government would also strive to enhance the quality of life of women and children through its free maternal and child health care services.
She said that the state government had in the last two years laid a solid foundation for enhancing health care delivery and urged parents to present their children for immunization in order to safeguard their future.
Kolo also said said that the introduction of free maternal and child care services by the wife of the state governor, Nana Shettima, last year had helped in reducing maternal mortality rate in the state.
She advised women to avail themselves of the services by visiting the clinics during pregnancy and delivery.
The event also witnessed the launch of the free maternal health care services for Maiduguri metropolis.
Speaking at the launch, the First Lady who was represented by the commissioner for Women Affairs, Inna Galadima, advised women in the state to take advantage of the free health care services by visiting hospitals regularly.
Not less than one million children between the ages of zero and five years are expected to be immunised in this year’s campaign exercise.
Earlier this year, the Nigerian government announced plans to eradicate polio disease from the country by the end of 2014.
The minister of health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, said Nigeria’s impressive performance on polio eradication in 2012 and 2013 provided a clear indicator that Nigeria would end polio transmission at the end of this year.