Nigeria has reported two fresh cases of polio in the country’s northeast. This comes weeks after they celebrated two years without the childhood killer disease.
A statement from the Federal Ministry of Health, confirmed the outbreak of the wild polio virus (WPV) in two children from the Gwoza and Jere Local Government Areas (LGA) of Borno state in the northeast.
According to the press release, the discovery and confirmation of the latest outbreak was as a result of heightened surveillance due to improved accessibility made possible by the Army’s liberation of communities in the Boko Haram ravaged part of the country.
The overriding priority now is to rapidly immunize all children around the affected area and ensure that no other children succumb to this terrible disease.
Wild Polio Virus in Borno. National Emergency Response Activated. Full Release ↓ pic.twitter.com/JHiEJ8sBQb— Health Minister NGR (@Fmohnigeria) August 11, 2016
‘‘The overriding priority now is to rapidly immunize all children around the affected area and ensure that no other child succumb to this terrible disease,’‘ the minister stated. Adding that he had directed the deployment of emergency medical response team to the area to avert any cases of local or international spread of the virus.
The government in partnership with the World Health Organization (WHO) had intensified immunizations and strengthened surveillance systems to avert spread of the virus, WHO confirmed in a statement on the latest setback to the global fight against the disease.
As an immediate response, about one million children are to be immunized in four local government areas in Borno with the exercise being extended to adjoining states of Yobe, Adamawa and Gombe, the statement further disclosed.
Nigeria, Africa’s most populous nation accounted for more than half of polio cases worldwide in 2012. Pakistan and Afghanistan have also reported polio this year, with 21 cases to date, according to WHO.