In a bid to bring to an end the spread of polio in Nigeria after the World Health Organisation delisted it from the list of polio endemic countries, it has been revealed by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in Abuja that $274 million will be needed from foreign donors in 2016.

At the pre-event press conference for the Anglophone Africa peer review workshop on sustainable immunisation financing, the executive director of the agency said that the sum of $287 million will be needed in the year 2017 for the same purpose. He indicated that statistics showed that the sum of N40,000 will be needed for the vaccination of an individual child.

On 25 September 2015, WHO announced that polio was no longer prevalent in Nigeria. According to a report by the World Health Organisation, as at 2012, Nigeria accounted for more than half of all polio cases worldwide. Since then, a concerted effort by all levels of government, civil society, religious leaders and tens of thousands of dedicated health workers have resulted in Nigeria successfully stopping polio. More than 200 000 volunteers across the country repeatedly immunized more than 45 million children under the age of 5 years, to ensure that no child would suffer from this paralysing disease.

This would have been impossible without the support and commitment of donors and development partners.

Author: Yemi Olarinre