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Nigeria secures $125 million loan to tackle polio

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Staff Writer | August 27, 2016
Nigeria polio
Africa   300 million doses of vaccine were required

The Nigerian government had obtained a $125-millio loan from the World Bank to tackle fresh cases of polio and other health challenges in the country.

Minister of Health Isaac Adewole disclosed this while briefing the Senate Committee on Primary Health and Communicable Diseases in Abuja, the nation's capital city.

Adowole said with approval of the National Assembly, 60 million dollars would be earmarked for polio, while the remaining 65 million dollars would be used for the procurement of vaccines.

He said following the outbreak, no fewer than 800,000 children under the age of five years had been immunized in five local government areas in Borno.

Adewole said the ministry was working with relevant stakeholders to search for more cases, adding that the ministry had flagged off response channels while the team monitoring and managing the disease was working to ensure that it was nipped in the bud.

According to him, the ministry will embark on six-round response programs to immunize children under five in the whole of the country and neighboring countries, to ensure that every potential child is immunized.

Adewole disclosed that 300 million doses of vaccine were required to be able to carry out immunization in the country to curtail the spread of the virus, however only 100 million were on ground, adding that measures would be put in place to make up the required doses.

The minister told his audience that plans to curb the disease could change depending on subsequent developments.

According to him, due to the security situation in the North-East, the medical team from the military had equally been deployed to assist experts from the ministry.

On Aug. 11, the Nigerian government confirmed an outbreak of two cases of wild polio virus in Borno.

In 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide, but the country has made significant strides in recent years, going two years without recording a single case.


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