By Tobias Lengnan Dapam
The Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has said that Polio remains a threat in Nigeria, adding that over 100,000 child are yet to be immunised against the disease in the northeastern part of country, Adewole said the situation is despite the government’s effort in making considerable
progress in immunisation programmes in the region.
The minister stated this at the annual meeting of African Regional Certification Commission for Poliomyelitis Eradication, ARCC, in Abujaon Monday.
The five-day meeting is being attended by participants from across Africa and development partners.
He said they will be reviewing the progress and update reports prepared by Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Angola, South Sudan, Central Africa republic, Mauritania and Nigeria in polio eradication activities.
“This will include national preparedness and response plans to polio
events/outbreaks; and updated reports on polio laboratory containment activities.”
The minister said in spite of the setback in Nigeria largely due to the Boko Haram insurgency that makes some areas inaccessible to health officials, Africa has made remarkable process towards eradicating poliomyelitis.
He recalled that in 2012, the African region reported 128 wild poliovirus (WPV) cases, which accounted for more than half of the global burden.
But in 2013, only about 76 cases were reported; 2014, about 17 cases and no case was reported in 2015.
“Nonetheless, in 2016, after almost two years, four cases were confirmed from areas that were under Boko Haram insurgency in Borno State in Nigeria and the outbreak was successfully contained,” he said.
Mr Adewole explained Nigeria remains on the list of polio endemic countries because some areas in the northeast remain inaccessible to the polio programme.
The last case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) was reported 21 months ago in Monguno LGA, Borno state.
Nigeria as at 2016 was on the verge of being certified polio-free by the World Health Organisation before the four new cases were reported.