The fight against Polio in Nigeria has remained a daunting task and perhaps unrealisable, in spite of significant money and efforts poured into the campaign to end the crippling disease.
The Federal Government's plan to totally eradicate polio virus in the country by 2015 is being threatened by new cases and may as well remain a big challenge in the days ahead.
This is so because while the disease has been successfully eradicated in all the countries of the world, Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan have remained countries where the transmission of polio has never been interrupted. This is even most unpleasant as 94 percent of the world's polio cases are in Nigeria.
There are also growing concerns that judging by the increasing rate at which new cases are being reported in the country, especially in the Northern States, Nigeria may end up being the only country in the world with polio cases by 2015.
With pockets of several states in northern Nigeria been affected, there are possibilities of the virus spreading to the Southern states if not effectively controlled. As it were, Nigeria is being watched more closely than anywhere else. Therefore, efforts must be geared towards reversing the ugly trend.
In 2012, Nigeria recorded a total of 122 polio cases compared to 58 in Pakistan and 37 in Afghanistan. Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan are the only three countries that have not been able to stop the transmission of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV).
According to reports, Nigeria has 96 per cent burden of polio in the whole world, with Afghanistan and Pakistan having only 4 per cent. The report also notes that, although some countries have achieved reduction in case numbers in recent times, Nigeria is the exception, as its case numbers continue to climb.
However, President Goodluck Jonathan affirmed that the Federal Government remains fully committed to achieving the total eradication of polio from Nigeria before the end of the tenure of the present administration in 2015.