EU and Nigeria join hands to eradicate polio

Nigeria on Thursday signed a €70 million grant agreement with the European Union to improve access to effective healthcare and nutrition in five states and push for polio eradication programs.

The EU considers support to the health sector in Nigeria a priority, Michael Arrion, Head of EU Delegation to Nigeria, said at the signing ceremony in Abuja, the nation’s capital city.

Arrion said the importance of improving maternal and newborn health outcomes and strengthening the health system resilience was emphasized in the partnership agreement with the Federal Ministry of Health.

He described strengthening health resilience as an important element for drawing up the National Strategy Paper of the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) jointly signed by European Commission and the federal government.

According to him, the EDF had earmark €510 million support to Nigeria over a five-year period under which this €70 million grant is funded.

He told his audience that the EU is working with Nigeria to address developmental challenges in key priority areas under the 11th EDF.

Earlier, Nigeria’s Minister of Health Isaac Adewole said the grant would be implemented by the ministry, World Health Organization (WHO), United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and state ministries of health of the benefiting states.

He listed the benefiting states as Adamawa, Bauchi, Kebbi, Sokoto and Anambra.