Friday July 24th, 2015 marked one year since Nigeria’s last reported case of polio.
It’s a major landmark for a country that has come a long way, with Nigeria having the highest number of cases per year worldwide in 1995.
“We are celebrating the first time ever that Nigeria has gone without a case of polio, but with caution,” Dr. Tunji Funsho, chairman of Rotary International’s polio campaign in Nigeria, told The Associated Press.
The World Health Organization will remove Nigeria off the list of polio-endemic countries, if no new cases are reported in the next few weeks.
Pakistan and Afghanistan are the only countries left on the list.
Dr. Oyewale Tomori, chairman of the government’s Expert Review Committee on Polio Eradication, however stated that the WHO would not declare Nigeria polio-free until 2017.
“It will take another two extra years of no polio to be polio-free and that is why we cannot relax,” said Tomori.