Wild polio virus returns to Nigeria


The wild polio virus (WPV) has recently been detected in Nigeria again, after the country celebrated the second anniversary of the interruption of the virus on July 24.

Two paralysed toddlers were recently discovered in parts of northeastern Nigeria, where Boko Haram operates, a Nigerian health official told journalists.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) explained that the news cases indicate that the wild polio virus has circulated undetected for five years in Borno State, according to report.

Nigeria’s Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole has ‘directed the deployment of a national emergency response team, comprising government and partners to Borno State for immediate and robust polio vaccination campaign, targeting eligible children to prevent the spread of the virus locally and internationally’, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Health.

Recent Boko Haram attacks in the area is said to have limited early detection of the virus outbreak.

The two children affected by the outbreak were from Gwoza and Jere Local Government Areas (LGAs) of Borno State which were recently liberated from terrorists by military action.

Military helicopters rushed polio vaccines to dangerous parts of the state yesterday, Friday, according to the Nigerian health official who spoke to journalists.

Within weeks, the vaccination campaign would be carried to nearby Benin, Chad, Central African Republic and Cameroon, WHO director for polio eradication Dr Michel Zaffran said.

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