Africa Can Defeat COVID-19, Like Polio — Buhari - THE ENCOUNTER NEWS


Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Africa Can Defeat COVID-19, Like Polio — Buhari

ABUJA - President Muhammadu Buhari believes with the right political will, African countries could beat COVID-19 the same way they wiped out Wild Polio Virus from the continent.

He spoke on Tuesday at the formal certification of the Wild Polio Virus eradication in the African region during the virtual session of the 70th World Health Organisation (WHO) regional committee for Africa.

The President, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, expressed faith in the crop of leaders of African countries to remain committed to the fight to defeat COVID-19 in their various countries.

Expressing delight in success that the African continent had made of the fight against Wild Polio Virus, the President recalled his pledge, when he newly assumed office in 2015, to bequeath a polio-free country to whoever his successor as President would be.

‘‘I recall that shortly after assuming office in May 2015, I made a pledge to Nigerians that I would not bequeath a polio-endemic country to my successor.

‘‘This certification is, therefore, a personal fulfillment of that pledge to not only Nigerians, but to all Africans.

‘‘At a time when the global community is battling the COVID-19 pandemic, this achievement strengthens my conviction that with the requisite political will, investments and strategies, as well as citizens’ commitment, we will flatten the epidemic curve.

‘‘I can affirm the commitment of all African leaders to this course of action,’’ the President said in his remarks celebrating the historic feat.

The President assured the global community Nigeria will sustain the momentum and leverage on the lessons learnt from polio eradication to strengthen her health system, especially primary health care, and prioritize health security.

He said Nigeria used data systems, community engagement and innovative technology to monitor and predict the occurrence of polio outbreaks, adding that these same skills and tools are being used to fight COVID-19 and the multi-country outbreaks of Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Viruses.

President Buhari, who described the achievement as a truly historic moment, commended President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa and Chairman of the African Union, under whose leadership, Africa crossed the finishing line.

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