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Polio: Nigeria’s free status not under threat – NPHCDA



Dr Faisal Shuaib
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By Chidinma Chukwu

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency NPHCDA has dispel reports in some sections of the media that the Polio free status of the country is under threat.

The NPHCDA Executive Director, Faisal Shuaib in a statement described the comment as a misrepresentation of facts.

The Executive Director stated that there is no reported new case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) anywhere in the country since 2016.

“Nigeria and the African region were certified Wild Polio Virus (WPV)-free in 2020, following a rigorous verification and certification process by the African Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (ARCC) which spanned 3 years of no detection of WPV. Till date, there has been no case of WPV isolated anywhere in the Country.

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“Nigeria and the African region were certified WPV-free on the 25thAugust 2020 and therefore, the polio-free status of the country is not in any way under threat.

“The attention of NPHCDA has been drawn to reports in some sections of the media claiming that there is an outbreak of a new polio variant in some states.

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“This is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, no case of WPV has been reported anywhere in the country since the last case in 2016.

“What is being misconstrued for an outbreak of WPV is the detection, through our robust disease surveillance system of 22 cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis, spread across seven (7) States (Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara). These non-wild polio viruses originated as a result of normal changes in the reproduction of viruses.

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“These viruses are not as virulent as WPV and are also being reported in other countries. Working with our donors and development partners, Nigeria has already acquired new tools and resources to ensure these viruses are contained” the statement read.

NPHCDA however assured Nigerians that the Agency and partners will continue to conduct surveillance and vaccination campaigns in order to prevent and contain any possible importation of the Wild Polio Virus.


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