Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, said Federal Government had obtained a 125-million-dollar loan from the World Bank to tackle fresh cases of polio and other health challenges in the country.
The minister made this known while briefing the Senate Committee on Primary Health and Communicable Diseases on Thursday in Abuja.
Adowole said that with approval of the National Assembly, 60 million dollars would be earmarked for polio, while the remaining 65 million dollars would be used for the procurement of vaccines.
He also disclosed that N10 billion had been released by the Federal Government from the 2016 budget to tackle the epidemic. While decrying the fresh outbreak, the minister said that about N30 billion would be required to tackle the menace. He said that following the outbreak, no fewer than 800,000 children under the age of five years had been immunised in five local government areas in Borno.
He said the local government areas, which had a population of about one million people were Jere, Gwoza, Mafa, Maiduguri Municipality and Bama. “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.
“I wasn’t expecting polio as a challenge; I was expecting teenage pregnancy and other health challenges,’’ he said. Adewole said the ministry was working with relevant stakeholders to search for more cases, adding that “we want to assume there could be many more of the cases, we are looking for more cases“.