President Muhammadu Buhari has directed the Federal Ministries of Health, and Information and Culture, to deepen their collaboration with state governments to ensure that Nigeria is finally certified polio-free by 2017.
This is contained in a statement issued on Tuesday in Abuja by Malam Garba Shehu, the President’s Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity.
The president spoke when he received the World Health Organisation (WHO) Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Rebecca Moeti, at the State House.
President Buhari said international partnerships were also needed to sustain Nigeria’s polio-free status.
“We have not recorded any case of polio in the last two years but we should not be complacent.
“The breakdown of law and order in the North East has posed challenges to regular immunisation.
“The situation and the condition of children in Internally Displaced Persons camps around the country are very pathetic.
“But I know that the federal and state governments in partnership with international organisations and NGOs are doing so much to provide health care, rebuild infrastructure and facilitate the voluntary return of displaced persons to their communities,” he said.
The president told the visiting WHO envoy that his administration would continue to accord priority to health care through regular funding of public health related programmes.
Moeti, accompanied by Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole and the Minister of State, Dr Osagie Ehanire, commended the Federal Government’s health programme.
She pledged continued support of the organisation on health development in Nigeria.
The Federal Government’s health intervention programme, the Federal Ministry of Health will provide free surgery to 10,000 needy Nigerians, registered with the National Health Insurance Scheme.
The programme, which will commence on July 18, in 46 health facilities across the country will also extend free breast and cervical cancer tests to 18,000 Nigerians and free diabetes and hypertension tests for 500,000 Nigerians.