The Institute of Medicine (IOM), Washington, has described as worrisome, the up surge in polio cases in Nigeria in spite of the general accolades the country received in 2010.
Senior Programme officer, Ms Bridget Kelly, said this at the ongoing International Visitor Leadership Exchange Programme in Washington.
She said that Nigeria was one of the countries the world was looking up to eradicate polio in the country through its aggressive immunisation programmes.
Nigeria recorded 95 per cent immunisation coverage to stop the transmission of polio in 2011. However, the country witnessed a resurgence of polio totaling about 62 cases in 2011 and four cases in 2012.
Kelly said the IOM had expected that health experts in Nigeria should have spoken strongly in support of polio immunisation particularly in the northern part of the country.
She said since they were familiar with the advantages of immunisation because of their background they should have spoken when some parts of the country rejected the routine immunisation.
“Nigeria was close to eradicating polio and we were all monitoring and excited about it until when the some people in Northern Nigeria say no to the immunisation exercise,” she said.
Also speaking, Deputy Director Global Health Initiative, Mrs Katherine Monahan, said her organisation was optimistic that Nigeria would meet the goal of polio eradication.
She said the US government would be delighted to see that polio in Nigeria was a thing of the past, and called for more public health campaign in the media.
Similarly, Prof. Taylor Burke, School of Public Health, George Washington University, decried the resurgence of polio in Nigeria, saying that disease was gradually reducing in other parts of the world.
Burke urged all stakeholders in the health sector to join hands in the fight against polio and other public health issues.
He acknowledged that the current security problems in some part of the country were a challenged to a thorough immunisation in some part of the country.
Filed Under: Health