| From nigeriafirst.org|
FG committed to polio eradication – President Jonathan
Jun 7, 2010, 19:56
President Goodluck Jonathan has pledged that that the Federal Government will do all it can to ensure the total eradication of polio in Nigeria.
Speaking at a meeting with Mr. Bill Gates, the Co-Chairperson of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that is committed to the global eradication of the polio virus in Abuja on Monday June 7, President Jonathan welcomed the reported drop in polio cases in Nigeria from 256 in 2009 to just three so far in 2010.
Noting that the very significant drop in polio cases was due to the joint efforts of the three tiers of government, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other stakeholders, President Jonathan said that his Administration will continue to do all within its powers to ensure that the goal of eradicating polio from Nigeria and the West African Sub-Region is fully achieved.
In a spress statement by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Mr Ima Niboro, the President said that to prevent the polio virus from re-entering Nigeria from neighbouring countries, his Administration would be willing to assist such countries with polio immunization programmes.
“We should be able to go beyond our borders if it becomes necessary to ensure that polio is eradicated altogether,” President Jonathan, while directing the Minister of Health, Prof. Christian Chukwu to consult his counterparts in neighbouring countries on the subject.
The President thanked Mr. Gates and his wife, Melinda, for their enormous contributions to the improvements in healthcare delivery and agriculture in the developing nations of the world.
“I thank you for what you are doing for the world. Thank you for all the time and money you have been investing to make the world safer and healthier. Thank you also for what you are doing for Nigeria as a nation. We appreciate and commend your efforts,” he told Mr. Gates.
Saying that Nigeria will also appreciate help from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for its efforts to combat the scourge of malaria, President Jonathan welcomed the news from Mr. Gates that his Foundation was working on developing an effective malaria vaccine by 2015.
Mr. Gates told the President that since his last visit to the country in February last year, Nigeria has had a greater reduction in polio cases than any other country in the world.
He said that it is important to “continue the good work” and that he is in the country for consultations on what needs to be done to ensure that polio never re-emerges on a large scale in Nigeria.
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