President Rotary Club of Ikoyi, Rotarian Isichei Osamgbi, has said that the end of polio in Nigeria is near and that Nigeria would soon be known as a Polio free Country.
End of Polio in Nigeria is near – Osamgbi; Thanks Rotary, Bill Gates, for donating $450 million to eradicate Polio
Osamgbi, said this at the weekend at the Westwood Hotel, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos at the close of activities to mark the World Polio Week as the Rotary Club of Ikoyi joined other Rotary Clubs worldwide in the major campaign to eradicate Polio, anchored around the World Polio Day.
He noted that “polio eradication is finally within our grasp, and as members of Rotary which is the leading organization in the fight against Polio worldwide along with The Gates Foundation in Nigeria, it would be a remiss to let this opportunity slip through our hands”.
According to him, this Year’s activities which saw The Rotary Club of Ikoyi take to the streets of Marwa and New Market in Iru / Lagos Island LCDA along with other Rotary Clubs of District 9110 Nigeria and the world at large, should be seen as the final push to see Nigeria join the League of Polio free Nations.
“Nigeria was once Certified Polio free but the reemergence of the viral disease in 2016 when four new cases were reported, three of which were in Borno State, at the heart of Nigeria’s conflict ridden North East gave us fresh challenges. Since then, Rotary through its members in Nigeria with international support has taken it upon itself to eradicate the deadly disease once again,” he said.
Speaking further, Osamgbi thanked Rotary International and Bill Gates for global polio eradication efforts that had managed to defeat polio in all but three countries – Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria. He expressed gratitude to them for donating $450 Million to the cause at The Rotary International Convention held in June this Year. He ended by saying that these donations, coupled with efforts of humanitarian Organizations like Rotary will sooner rather than later make not only Nigeria but the World Polio Free.
World Polio Day, which is celebrated on the 24th of October every Year was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine against poliomyelitis and this Year’s celebration took place on Tuesday 24th of October.