The independent Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) for polio eradication officially declared Nigeria and the rest of Africa free of indigenous wild poliovirus.
The announcement was made by Rose Leke, ARCC Chairperson, on Tuesday.
“Today is a historic day for Africa. The African Regional Certification Commission for Polio eradication (ARCC) is pleased to announce that the Region has successfully met the certification criteria for wild polio eradication, with no cases of the wild poliovirus reported in the Region for four years,” Leke said.
“This is a momentous milestone for Africa. Now future generations of African children can live free of wild polio,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO regional director for Africa, said.
“This historic achievement was only possible thanks to the leadership and commitment of governments, communities, global polio eradication partners and philanthropists. I pay special tribute to the frontline health workers and vaccinators, some of whom lost their lives, for this noble cause.
“However, we must stay vigilant and keep up vaccination rates to avert a resurgence of the wild poliovirus and address the continued threat of the vaccine-derived polio.”