#199: 'Nigeria Is Paving The Way For A Polio-free Africa'
January 9, 2015 - Read the full Forbes article and watch the interview here: http://onforb.es/1Kqz2ZG. Subscribe to this podcast on iTunes by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwitunes or on Stitcher by clicking here: http://bit.ly/ymotwstitcher. “Nigeria is paving the way for a polio-free Africa,” according to John Vertefeuille, team lead for Nigeria at the Centers for Disease Control. With the World Health Organization reporting no cases of polio in Nigeria since July 24, 2014 and the last in Africa reported in August, Vertefeuille’s enthusiasm is well-founded. The infrastructure that supports polio immunizations was used early in the West African Ebola epidemic to stop its spread in Nigeria, Vertefeueille notes. “The recent Ebola outbreak in Nigeria was successfully interrupted in part because the polio eradication response infrastructure was used; in particular, members of the Nigeria Polio Emergency Operations Center were deployed to coordinate the multi-agency Ebola response.” Vertefeueille adds cautiously, “Final steps toward polio eradication in Nigeria will require continued national program innovations and strategies to improve polio vaccine coverage for underserved and hard-to-reach communities.” Please consider whether a friend or colleague might benefit from this piece and, if so, share it.