The World Health Organization (WHO), African Regional Director, Dr. Matsichidiso Moeti has said that the WHO was committed to partnering Borno state government and other stakeholders in finally pushing out Polio and other Child killer diseases in Nigeria.
The Director, who disclosed this while flagging off the integrated Polio immunization and Malaria campaign at the Muna Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camp on Saturday said “as the IDPs return to their communities there is need for health institutions and stakeholders to transit from Humanitarian health services to development based health services.”
She called on health development partners to come in and support the Federal and the state governments in the North-east to fix and strengthen health care facilities for better and more accessible healthcare services as the IDPs return to their ancestral land.
“we need to build on success already achieved in the health sector by calling on health development partners to come in and assist in our drive to achieve accessible health care delivery to the people in the grassroots,” she added.
Dr. Meoti commended the Borno state government and other stakeholders in pro-action responses to Cholera outbreak in the IDP camps and the fight against polio, stressing that she is optimistic that polio will very soon be pushed out of Nigeria, since the army has liberated most of the hitherto inaccessible communities.
The Regional Director said “I look forward to come back to Nigeria very soon to declare the country a polio free country. Malaria is also one of the deadly diseases in this part of the region, more especially among children and pregnant women, we are going to give both technical and policy support to eradicate the disease.”
While flagging off the campaign, the Borno state Governor, Hon. Kashim Shettima commended the WHO and other stakeholders in the health sector for supporting the state government in its health care delivery programmes, especially at the IDP camps.
Governor Shettima who was represented by his Deputy, Alhaji Usman Maman Durkwa said “ Polio was almost pushed out of the Country but unfortunately due to inaccessibility of some areas children were not reached, hence the recording of 4 cases of polio last year.”
“However I want to commend our gallant military officers for liberating the hitherto inaccessible communities. We are optimistic that very soon Nigeria will be declared a polio free nation,” Shettima stated.
The Regional Director, also during the visit, inaugurated a Public Health Emergency Operation Centre at the State’s Eye Hospital Maiduguri for the coordination of all health care services provided by all stakeholders and thereafter had an interactive session with newsmen at the Centre.