Nigeria is again hit by environmental polio, just a year after the country was certified wild poliovirus free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Solacebase reports that UNICEF Country Representative, Peter Hawkins, announced that 120 new cases of the virus have been recorded across the country.
Hawkins stated this on Monday at the Northern Traditional Leaders’ Committee meeting in Abuja, where he challenged the monarchs on the need to strengthen routine immunisation in their domain.
Also, the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, explained how the government was responding to the situation.
Shuaib allayed the fear that the latest development would affect Nigeria’s polio position, saying it poses no threat to the country’s wild polio-free status.
He, however, stressed the need for an integrated vaccination programme to effectively manage diseases outbreaks in the country.
He explained that vaccine-derived polio, which is also called environmental polio, is a strain of poliovirus caused by the lack of routine immunisation.
‘’It spreads more easily among unvaccinated children and is capable of causing severe illness, including paralysis.’’
‘’Routine immunisation is one major means of reducing fatalities from killer diseases such as polio and cholera. This necessitated the need of the government to seek the support of the traditional rulers.’’