The WHO Representative to The Gambia, Dr. Desta Tireneh, on Tuesday said The Gambia is on the verge of eradicating the polio virus.
“Although we are on the verge of eradicating polio, we are also making efforts to ensure that we are done with it. Our aim is to eradicate this disease by circulating vaccines and put an end to polio vaccination in the region by the end of 2024,” Dr. Tiruneh stated during the multi-country capacity-building workshop on integrated polio surveillance in the Africa Region held at Bakadaji on Thursday.
The WHO rep. explained that there are two countries that are yet to be polio-free, adding as long as those countries have yet to kick polio out, The Gambia and other countries are at risk of polio importation, saying this prompted the gathering to straighten their surveillance system in ensuring that even if they take one case, they will able to contain it.
“This workshop will provide an opportunity to address gaps, technical relations and adopt new methods to improve the quality and timeliness of our surveillance system. As we work towards the ultimate goal of polio eradication, it’s crucial to maintain our surveillance globally. This will allow us to detect viruses or provide evidence,” Dr. Tireneh stated.
He explained that they will be focusing on new strategies recommended by the global polio eradication initiative on polio eradication strategy 2022/2026, adding: “The knowledge and skills you gain here will not only enhance your country’s capacity but will also help globally because eradication of polio is a global commitment.”
Dr. Ndoutabe Modijirom from Organization Mondialede la Sante expressed gratitude to the government for giving them the opportunity and being in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO).
He stated that they are trying to eradicate polio viral but as long as those two countries are still not polio-free, then the rest of the countries will still be in threat.
“We are here to provide all the necessary support that you need. Together we can strive to eradicate all forms of polio viral disease,” Dr. Ndoutabe said.