Did Buhari really fulfill his promise of kicking out polio in Nigeria?

Zainab Iwayemi


Claim:

On Tuesday, The independent Africa Regional Certification Commission for Polio Eradication, announced that the World Health Organisation African Region was free of the poliovirus.

Sequel to this, a tweet by the personal assistant on new media to president, Bashir Ahmad (@BashirAhmaad) affirmed that ''Nigeria is officially polio free'. The tweet further credited the success of polio wipe-out in Nigeria to the incumbent government; President Muhammad Buhari's administration. According to Bashir Ahmad, 'President Muhammadu Buhari has fulfill his promise of kicking out the disease in Nigeria

Roundcheck findings: 

Polio from poliomyelitis, is a viral disease which is spread through contacts between people — mostly oral and nasal. It is mostly common in children under five years of age. And the effect could be endangering; ranging from disability, to death, depending on its gravity in the system.

 Africa recorded more than 75,000 cases of the virus in 1996 across all 54 countries and this became a major concern for leaders thereby triggering Nelson Mandela, to start a campaign targeted at mobilizing health workers all over the nooks and crannies of the continent. Luckily, the campaign was supported by the organizations such as the Rotary International; hence, the successful avertion of over a million of cases in the following decades

Through thick and thin, health workers have remained on the frontline, ensuring that every corners of the the continent, is covered in the vaccination of children against the virus. In Nigeria, setbacks includes religious belief as well as terrorist attack mostly in the northern part. In fact, in 2003, some northern  Nigeria — Kano inclusive had to suspend vaccination when rumour circulated that the vaccine contained anti-fertility to control childbirth. Luckily the rumour was laid to rest through laboratory test and normalcy soon resumed. after a decade, the rumour resurfaced thus; causing the death of some health workers in the northern part. See here

In July 2014, during the Jonathan's administration, it was reported that a full year had gone without any case of polio. This became a major achievement for Nigeria until new cases were detected in Borno State, Nigeria in 2016, at the wake of President Muhammadu Buhari's administration, making Nigeria the last and only country in Africa to get rid of the pandemic. This again awaken the will of health workers and Nigerians.

Luckily, the long awaited declaration  was made on 25th August 2020, certifying that the country is polio free. See here

Individuals and organization that has helped in the fight against polio eradication

The World Health Organization (WHO), the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) and the Rotary Foundation, are foremost organizations in the fight against polio. Additionally, The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC),  Alongside The Gates Foundation, have spearheaded the campaign through the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) with many other organization and counties inclusive

In Nigeria, the current and past governments, as well as Africa's biggest tycoon, Aliko Dangote as well as health organizations have supported the combat against the pandemic.

Conclusion: 

It is true President Muhammadu Buhari's administration has recorded a wipe-out of poliomyelitis an endangering viral disease posing threat to health of children, as certified by the Independent Africa Regional Certification Commission, what is however misleading, is the affiliation of the credit solely to the incumbent administration. The statement of Bashir Ahmad could be quoted thus;  'Buhari has fulfilled his promise of kicking out the disease in nigeria' in his tweet


This Fact-Check was done under Roundcheck. Non of this content should be republished without attributing the Author/Roundcheck

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