FG worried over outbreaks of vaccine-derived polio in 14 states

FG worried over outbreaks of vaccine-derived polio in 14 states


By Moses Emorinken, Abuja

The Federal Government Monday expressed concern over the outbreaks of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) in fourteen states across the country.

The states are: Abia, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, FCT, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.

It stated that sub-optimal performances recorded in the fourteen states as a result of high number of missed children during the outbreak response (OBR) could affect how the country is able to bring the outbreak under control.

It therefore urged all stakeholders to guard jealously the milestone achieved in the eradication of polio in the country.

Recall that Nigeria was certified wild poliovirus (WPV) free in June last year by the Africa Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC) of the World Health Organization (WHO).

The Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr Faisal Shuaib, disclosed these during a meeting on COVID-19 vaccination and the second quarter review meeting of the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on primary health care in Abuja.

He said: “This year has been a challenging one due to the COVID-19 pandemic which has affected all areas of our lives including immunization programme.

“Nigeria as we are all aware has been certified WPV free by the ARCC, however, there are cases of cVDPV2 in some states, hence the need for us as a country to jealously guard our WPV-Free status and stop the cVDPV2 transmission in our communities.

“Your Highnesses, as at today, we have cVDPV2 outbreaks in Abia, Bayelsa, Borno, Delta, FCT, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Lagos, Niger, Rivers, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara, and we have conducted four OBRs using the Novelle Oral Polio Vaccine which is a preferred choice as it doesn’t seed the virus.

“However, sub-optimal performance has been recorded in all the States due to high number of missed children during the OBR. This poor quality will affect how we are able to bring this outbreak under control.”

He therefore urged traditional leaders to use their influence in advocating to political leaders on the need to continue to fund polio outbreak response campaigns, as donor funding for polio has reduced drastically.

The Chairman of the Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Immunization and Primary Health Care, His Highness Alhaji Samaila Muhammad Mera (CON), Emir of Argungu, said: “We commend and appreciate the efforts of UNICEF Nigeria office for the good working relationship we enjoy with you and your various state representatives that consult and engage with us for effective mass mobilization and education of our people, which is critical to our mandate.

“It is true, Nigeria is certified Polio Free, we are grateful to God and proud individually and collectively for the roles we played in support of our Government and all stakeholders to achieve the feat. However, the reality is Nigeria is not out of the woods as cases of CVDPV2 continue to spread even in states that have been polio free for nearly seven years.

“Added to this is the scourge of Covid-19 and the challenges of educating our people enough to create demand and acceptance for the vaccine; less we forget, routine immunisation coverage is very poor and cases of maternal mortality are still unacceptably high in our community.”

Source: Latest Nigeria News, Nigerian Newspapers, Politics

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