The Permanent Secretary Federal Ministry of Health, Mr. Linus Awute, has reiterated the commitment of the Federal Government to tackling vaccine preventable diseases, especially with the recent gains in routine immunization and the unprecedented feat in polio immunization in Nigeria. Mr. Awute stated this on Thursday when the World Health Organization (WHO) Country Representative, Dr. Rui Gama Vaz, formally presented the new WHO Team Leader on Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI), Dr. Fiona Braka, to him in his office in Abuja.
The Permanent Secretary stated that in further consolidating the gains of Nigeria’s achievements, the Ministry was in the process of streamlining the activities of all role players in the public health across the country to align with the National Strategic Health Development Plan (NSHDP).
He further disclosed that the spate of insurgency in the North East notwithstanding, the Ministry has concluded the mapping of all Internally Displaced Persons (IDPS) for the effective distribution of vaccines and commodities to them. This is to ensure that no room is left for the reemergence of the Wild Polio Virus.
Mr. Awute commended Dr. Gama Vas and the role of the WHO which he described as, “Effective and complementary to the nation’s health system.”
Speaking earlier, the WHO Country Representative, Dr. Gama Vaz, recalled the meeting of the High Advocacy Team, led by the Permanent Secretary, with President Muhammadu Buhari and Governors of Polio High Risk States at the State House recently. He observed that the Governors demonstrated great commitment and knowledge of the status of polio in their states. He also affirmed that the WHO would continue to support and work with the Federal Ministry of Health in a very, “Transparent and accountable manner.”
In her remarks, the new WHO Country Leader on the Expanded Programme on Immunization, Dr. Braka, congratulated Nigeria for the progress and achievement in Polio immunization and pledged to build on the success of her predecessor.