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Polio Eradication: President Tinubu Assures of Quality Healthcare in Nigeria


President Bola Tinubu says the federal government will continue to partner reputable organizations such as Rotary International in ongoing efforts to eradicate all forms of polio and reduce the prevalence of maternal and infant mortality in the country.

President Tinubu, who received Rotary International President, Mr. Gordon Mclnally, his wife, Heather; Rotary’s Polio Ambassador to Nigeria, Sir Emeka Offor, and other notable Rotarians, on Friday, at the State House in Abuja, commended the organization for its various interventions in the country’s health sector, including a new grant of $14 million to enable the World Health Organization (WHO) provide technical assistance to the government of Nigeria on polio surveillance.

The President declared that it is a national obligation for the government to prioritize the welfare of Nigerians, support their advancement, and ensure that they are not hindered by any form of disease.

”It is a joy to have the President of Rotary International, his wife, Sir Emeka Offor, and other Rotarians in our midst. Thank you for representing a great commitment to humanity. Thank you for the job you are doing. Rotary International has a good reputation on social commitment, not only for the leading role it played in the eradication of polio in Africa, but also in addressing other diseases.

”You have saved countless mothers and children. You are also contributing to the growth of local economies by helping nations combat unforeseen diseases and deaths. You are doing a great job in the protection of the environment and other areas of humanitarian commitment,” President Tinubu said.

The President acknowledged the contributions of volunteers from Rotary Clubs in Nigeria who have been instrumental in supporting polio eradication initiatives in the country.

”Whatever is necessary for us to do, I want to assure you that the Coordinating Minister of Health and Social Welfare and his team will be on call and available at any time,” the President stated.

The President of Rotary International, Mr. Gordon McInally, while lauding President Tinubu’s longstanding reputation for supporting healthcare interventions for disadvantaged Nigerians throughout his public service career, offered honorary Rotary membership to the Nigerian leader in recognition of his past and present efforts to rapidly enhance Nigeria’s health sector.

Earlier in his remarks, Mr. Mclnally highlighted Nigeria’s support for global polio eradication efforts and polio-free status, having been certified as a polio-free nation in 2020, against the backdrop of only 12 polio cases recorded worldwide last year, which were concentrated on the Afghan-Pakistan border.

”The polio eradication campaign has been our flagship programme for many years. Over the years, we have been working on it, and we have seen Nigeria certified polio-free a few years ago.

”We have reduced the incidence from over 350,000 cases of polio worldwide every year to only 12 cases last year, in the Afghan-Pakistan border. So, we are on the verge of eliminating polio from the world, but we could not have achieved this without the active support of Nigeria. We thank you very much for everything that you have done.

”We must remain vigilant and continue our efforts in this field. Rotarians here in Nigeria are tirelessly working to ensure that children worldwide do not suffer from any crippling disease that can even take their lives,” he said.

Mr. McInally further pledged that the organization would continue to collaborate with the Nigerian government on programmes to reduce infant and maternal mortality.

”It is only by working together with governments that we can achieve great things,” he concluded.

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