Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, on Thursday told a bemused Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare and Communicable Diseases that he was not prepared for resurgence of polio in the country rather was up to the challenge of teenage pregnancies and other health issues.
“I wasn’t expecting polio as a challenge, I was expecting teenage pregnancy and other health challenges.
“The resurgence of polio is an unusual development and a major setback considering the investment of the international community, and the whole world was looking forward to celebrate Nigeria next year,” he said.
According to the minister, the federal government has obtained a loan of $125 million from the World Bank to tackle the polio resurgence, stressing that given the National Assembly’s approval, $60 million would be used to tackle the fresh cases of polio while $65 million would be used to procure vaccines.
All, Adewole explained that the federal government needs about N30 billion to tackle the menace.
According to him, about 800,000 children under the age of five years had been immunised in five local government areas in Borno state.
The minister said that of the 300 million doses of vaccine required for immunisation in the country to curtail the spread of the virus, only a 100 million was available.