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Sir Emeka Offor Foundation Vows to Keep Fighting Polio After Defeat of Disease in Nigeria

ABUJA, Nigeria, July 23, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, a non-governmental, philanthropic organization focused on healthcare, youth employment, families, education and infrastructure development, today promised to maintain its high level of commitment and intensity in the effort to eradicate polio globally. Because there have been no new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) reported since July 24, 2014, Nigeria will be removed from the list of endemic nations tomorrow.

"This is a tremendous achievement for every individual, NGO partner and government agency involved, but we view it as a milestone and not a finish line," said Sir Emeka Offor, who serves as Rotary International's PolioPlus ambassador in Nigeria and is the founder of the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation. "We vow to maintain the momentum through funding, security and logistics provision until the last polio case is eradicated from our world."

The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation is solely founded and funded by the Nigerian billionaire businessman whose commitment to not only Nigeria but the global community is illustrated by the activities and achievements of his foundation. The Oraifite Anambra state-based foundation has been at the forefront of the battle to end polio around the world. The foundation has teamed up with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to inject over $9 million dollars into the fight.

If Nigeria continuously stays polio free until 2017, Nigeria will be certified polio free by the World Health Organization (WHO). The multi-faceted campaign to end polio has been marked by a long list of successes, including:

  • The introduction of Directly Observed Polio Vaccination (DOPV);
  • Scale up of outside household vaccination;
  • Scale up of health camps and demand creation interventions; and
  • Accelerated introduction of Injectable Polio Vaccines (IPV), particularly in Yobe, Borno and Kano State respectively.

Innovative strategies were also employed to overcome the challenges of getting vaccines to children in the northeast where polio made its final stand amidst the region's instability. Health workers, defying all odds, have been able to reach danger areas and hard-to-reach local government areas, improving coverage from about 72 percent in December 2013 to 97 percent in December 2014.

The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation also recognized the total commitments and massive innovations introduced by the federal government in partnership with international agencies such as UNICEF, USAID, Rotary International and the Global Polio Eradication framework of WHO. The anti-polio campaign in Nigeria is further complemented by private sector participation that includes the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, among others.

About the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation

The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation is a philanthropic organization based in Oraifite, Anambra State, Nigeria. The Foundation seeks to alleviate the sufferings of the less privileged through philanthropy, and focuses primarily on giving support and hope to those in need irrespective of tribe, creed, religion and nation. The Foundation has affected the lives of many Nigerians through its domestic programs and projects, which include Youth Empowerment, Widows Cooperative, Education, and Health Services and Infrastructural Development. The Scholarship Program honoring Sir Emeka Offor was designed to foster and encourage outstanding students who come from impoverished homes and have no other recourse to Financial Aid. For more information, visit http://sireofforfoundation.org or like us at: https://www.facebook.com/siremekaofforfoundation.

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Source:Sir Emeka Offor Foundation