WHO had yesterday confirmed a third case of polio in the country from a crippled toddler found in an area newly liberated from Boko Haram insurgents, Rotary Club report said yesterday. This is as the federal government in collaboration with the World Health Organisation, WHO, and the Rotary Club tries to confine two polio cases from spreading, the new case isreported in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State. The other two cases were found in Jere and Gwazo Local Government Areas in northern part of Borno. Consequently, WHO has warned that more cases could appear in a major health setback, after two cases were reported in August. According to a WHO statement, “A third child has been paralyzed by wild poliovirus type one (WPV1) in Borno State. “It’s all linked to the same outbreak,” adding that “detection of new cases is not unexpected and can be anticipated, particularly as disease surveillance is being strengthened including by conducting retrospective case searches.” The three cases appear to come from the same strain of the disease circulating in the North-East for years, said Stephanie Mucznik, spokesperson for Rotary International, which partnering the Nigerian government to eradicate polio. According to Mucznik, the latest case concerned a two-year- old boy suffering from the onset of paralysis on August 6 in the Monguno area. “Genetic sequencing of the isolated viruses suggests they
are most closely linked to WPV1 last detected in Borno in 2011, indicating the strain has been circulating without detection since that time,” Mucznik explained. Polio is a highly infectious viral disease which mainly affects young children and can result in permanent paralysis. There is no cure and it can only be prevented through immunisation. The Rotary Club said that more cases were expected to be discovered in these areas, adding that it was an indicator that Nigeria’s war on polio could not be won until it overcomes the insurgency by extremists who are violently opposed to Western medicine. The Rotary said it was part of a new emergency immunisation drive that had vaccinated more than 1.5 million children last week in Borno where WHO had said the virus had been in
circulation undetected for five years. The new vaccination campaign is to spread across the country to reach 25 million children before the end of the year and includes the neighbouring countries of Chad, Cameroon and Niger. Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole had said in August that the affected areas “have had their health facilities destroyed by insurgents” and “accessibility was a barrier to service provision.” Since taking up arms in 2009, Boko Haram Islamist militants have captured swathes of territories in the North-East, cutting off health services for millions of people, he stated. Before recent outbreaks of the Wild Polio Virus, WPV, in the North-East region of the country, Nigeria was already on the track of being certified polio-free in 2017 by WHO.


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