Nigeria and the whole continent of Africa is on the cusp of being polio free, Dr. Hamid Jafari told audience members at the Rotary Convention on 8 June in São Paulo, Brazil.
Between 2013 and 2014, the reported cases of polio dropped from 53 to just six in Nigeria. Even more encouraging, said Jafari, is that the last case of polio in Nigeria was reported in July of last year and the last case in all of Africa was reported in Somalia in August.
“With a year of no polio cases in Nigeria tantalizingly close, and no cases in Somalia since August, the tireless work of so many people across the continent is paying off,” said Jafari, director of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative for the World Health Organization. “But it is incredibly important that Nigeria remains vigilant. As long as polio exists anywhere, it will continue to be a threat everywhere.”