Polio in Nigeria: Federal government raises alarm, says more states at risk

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– The recent polio outbreak in Nigeria could spread to other states

– This was the submission of Nigeria’s minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole

– Nigeria had defeated polio and there was no report for two years until recently

Nigeria’s minister of health, Professor Isaac Adewole says there is high risk of further spread of the recent polio outbreak to states surrounding Borno and neighbouring countries around the Lake Chad region.

President Buhari immunizing a child recently in Aso Rock

President Buhari immunizing a child recently in Aso Rock

Professor Adewole made the submission while giving a situation report on the recent outbreak to journalists and stakeholders yesterday, August 17 in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

According to Professor Adewole, the risk of further spread was due to population movement within and around the state.

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There were two reported cases of the wild polio virus in Gwoza and Jere local government areas of Borno state last week.

The reports sparked international concerns and condemnations as Nigeria had defeated polio and there was no report for two years until recently.

The report also validated initial reports by international agencies working in Borno state that both the federal and state governments had abandoned the Internally Displaced Persons outside Maidugiri, the state capital.

Professor Adewole said a detailed investigation by a team from the ministry of health revealed that both cases came from security compromise in areas of Borno state which  had limited access to any form of health services including immunisation.

Borno state is the worst hit state in acts of terrorism perpetuated by Islamist group, Boko Haram in Nigeria’s north east region.

Professor Adewole stated that Nigeria needed to be proactive to ensure that all children were vaccinated within the shortest time, adding that timely response to cases is equally important.

He also informed his audience that he had approved the revision of the polio virus outbreak response plan developed by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and its partners.

His words: “The response plan includes five rounds of polio campaigns, three of which are focused on 16 northern states and two to be conducted nationwide.

“These campaigns will  be synchronised with the affected regions and provinces of Chad, Niger and Cameroun.” 

READ ALSO: 10 ways to prevent full-blown humanitarian crisis in Borno

According to Professor Adewole, 56, 363, 618 children would be vaccinated between October and November this year as part of a nationwide response to the recent outbreak of polio in Nigeria.

He also said vaccination for children in the affected areas had commenced concurrently with active case search, adding that the ministry of defence is providing security for health workers during the house-to-house immunisation.

The humanitarian crisis in Nigeria’s insurgency-infested north east region has in the past few weeks, being a major topic across the world.

International groups and media have been beaming their searchlight on the region, especially in Borno state which is the worst hit; as there are fears that poverty, diseases and hunger are threatening the existence of the people.

The post Polio in Nigeria: Federal government raises alarm, says more states at risk appeared first on Nigeria News today & Breaking news | Read Naij.com 24/7.

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