Minister of State for Health, Dr. Muhammad Pate, has expressed shock that more than 1,000 children have been paralysed by the wild polio virus largely due to the rejection of immunisation in the northern part of the country.
Pate was reacting to a newspaper report that an Ahmadu Bello University don, Prof Haruna Kaita, whose previous utterances allegedly stirred up the anti-polio controversy, had recauted.
The minister told the New Agency of Nigeria in Abuja on Sunday that Kaita’s decision was a welcome development.
He said, “We are glad that the professor from ABU, whose previous utterances were associated with the misguided anti-polio controversy, has finally come out to straighten the facts from his perspective.
“While this development is certainly welcome, we note with sadness that more than 1,000 children have been paralysed by wild polio virus largely due to the rejection.”
The minister urged the professor to conclude his presentation by clearing the doubts he had raised through his utterances and circulated video.
Pate said in spite of the recent challenges on polio eradication, the country had not recorded any case of Type 2 or Type 3 polio virus in the last six months, adding that no new case had also been recorded in the North West geo-political zone.
The minister said, “Nigeria is making progress in spite of the recent challenges; so far in 2013, there has been no new case of polio in the entire North West geo-political zone.
“For almost six months now, we have not seen Type 3 or Type 2 polio viruses, a significant first in our quest to interrupt transmission.”