The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation joins Rotary International to mark World Polio Day, which takes place every year on 24th of October. The foundation joined Rotary International at Family Health Clinic at Area 2 Abuja to immunize children against wild poliovirus, which is aimed at creating more encouragement and awareness to parents on the importance of vaccinating their children. The End Polio Now Coordinator for zone 20 Africa, PGD (Mrs) Ijeoma Okoro implored parents that immunization is going on all over Africa simultaneously and no child should be left out. "As we are marking World Polio Day, immunization of all children below the age of five is ongoing all over Africa and parents should make sure their kids are not left out," she stated. Hon. Elvis Chukwu, the DG District 9125 of Rotary International Abuja used the occasion to thank Sir Emeka Offor for his presence and unwavering support of his Foundation to the eradication of polio in the world. Sir Emeka Offor, who is the Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria and Africa’s highest donor to Rotary International, stated that, "more access to the boarder communities and war affected communities of north east should be created so that every child will be reached and the relapse we experienced in 2016 will not repeat itself. I was told that if by 21st August 2019 no polio is recorded in Nigeria, we will be declared Polio free. So I plead with every health worker, our government, parents and everybody to join hands together in making sure that polio is totally eradicated in Nigeria before August next year." In 2016, Nigeria was on its way to becoming a polio free country when three new cases of Polio were discovered. If by August 21st 2019 no new case is reported, Nigeria will be declared polio free and subsequently removed from the list of three polio endemic countries including Pakistan and Afghanistan. Polio is an infectious disease most commonly affecting children under the age of 5 by destroying their nerve cells in the spinal cord, causing muscle wasting, paralysis and sometimes death. Over 99.9% of world polio infection rate have been eradicated leaving a handful infectious cases in polio endemic countries of Pakistan, Afghanistan and Nigeria (PAN).
Obi Ebuka Onochie