Fresh Cases of Polio Emerges in Borno State, Nigeria

Few weeks after Nigeria celebrated two years without polio, two fresh cases of Wild Poliovirus (WPV) has been detected in Borno State.

The Minister of Health, Prof.Isaac Adewole, yesterday, confirmed an outbreak of WPV, in Borno State.

July 24, 2016 marked two years since the last case of polio was recorded in Nigeria, also implying another one year without polio left to achieve World Health Organisation(WHO) certification of three years without the virus. However, the detection of fresh polio cases, implies that the certification will have to be put on hold for now.

The children infected are from Gwoza and Jere Local Government Areas of the state, areas recently made accessible by the recent military action in liberating more communities in the North-Eastern part of the country.

After the news of the cases were confirmed, the minister of health, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Executive Director and UN Under Secretary General, Professor Babatunde Osotimehin, met with President Muhammadu Buhari early yesterday.

According to the minister, an emergency plan was being drawn and a team was being dispatched within the next 48 hours, to go and start immunization. He added that, at least three rounds of special immunisation campaigns were planned to contain the situation.

The Borno state health commissioner, Haruna Mshelia, stated that,
“Where we have had access in the past two years we have not had cases”. He added,
“All these cases are coming out of areas that were liberated by the gallant activities of our soldiers.”