(By Gracia Obi)
The Federal Government organised polio taskforce has been applauded by UNICEF and World Health Organization (WHO) for achieving sixty per cent reduction in the spread of poliomyelitis.
The executive director, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Ado Muhammad, made the comment recently while responding to questions from journalists at a send forth meeting organised in honour of Mr. NiyiAyegboyin, who was retiring after thirty-five years of service in the health sector, and as the agency’s photographer.
According to Dr. Ado, the opening statement of the Independent Monitoring Board was quoted to have read, “In no time has so much achievement been made.”
He agreed that most cases this year are coming from security challenged states like Yobe and Bornu; seventy percent of which are from Bornu state. “The seventy per cent cases in Bornu are as a result of insecurity, and we are working towards ensuring that is resolved,” he mentioned.
He said that, in the last six months, cases have reduced generally by fifty per cent. “Only type 1 polio is in circulation in 16 local government areas, out of 774 across the country. Types2 and 3, which are more dangerous, have not been circulating. This means that population immunity has improved from fifty-five per cent to over eighty-five per cent in polio endemic areas,” he explained.
He however commended the likes of Mr. Niyi, popularly known as Baba Photo, for making the success in the fight to exit polio a reality. “This impending success couldn’t have been achieved by the directors or the ED, but by people like Baba, hence the need to appreciate him,” he called.
He said the retiree’s effort in documenting pictures and recordings have gone a long way in data compilation, which had translated to most of the successes recorded by the agency.
Mr. Niyi, in his speech, thanked God and his family for the privilege and support, since he started as photographer in 1978 at the ministry of health.