Mrs Toyin Saraki, a global advocate and Founder-President of leading women and children’s health organisation, the Wellbeing Foundation Africa, has applauded the milestone of Nigeria being free of Wild Polio Virus for three years.
In a statement released by her office Mrs. Saraki stated:
“Today, Nigeria marks a great milestone by reaching the three-year mark without any cases of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV). The last case of WPV was detected on 21st August in 2016, in Borno State. Since then, no new cases of WPV have been detected in any part of Nigeria. This is a major step towards certifying our country as WPV-free.”
“However, we must celebrate cautiously, and without complacency. To sustain this success, we must continue Polio mass immunization campaigns with the same great drive and commitment as before. This is vital in order to ensure that all children are protected against Polio, including the Circulating Vaccine Polio Virus (CVPDV) which can occur in areas with weak routine immunization coverage, and other vaccine-preventable diseases.”
The Wellbeing Foundation Africa Foundation Founder recognised the significant contributions made towards the achievement of this milestone by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other important partners including the Aliko Dangote Foundation.
Mrs. Saraki participating in an immunisation campaign in Ilorin, Kwara State, 2008.
Mrs. Saraki reiterated that her organisation’s Maternal Monday social media advocacy campaign and MamaCare Frontline program are committed to supporting the immunisation work of the World Health Organisation Nigeria, the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, the Federal Ministry of Health, and the National Centre for Disease Control. Giving mothers access to information on the safety and importance of vaccines is a necessity in order to empower them to make immunisation choices in the best interests of their children.
Mrs. Saraki is a pioneering member of the Women Advocates to Vaccine Access (WAVA) initiative of the Johns Hopkins University (JHPIEGO).