FG denies reported outbreaks of Wild Polio Virus in states

Uba Group

Reported outbreaks of the Wild Polio Virus in some Nigerian states are false, the Federal Government has said.

According to the Federal Government, there has not been any new case of the disease in the country since the last case was witnessed in 2016.

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency refuted claims of new outbreaks in a statement by Dr Faisal Shuaib, its Executive Director.

The agency disclosed, however, that currently, the country had 395 recorded cases of Mutant Poliovirus Type 2 in 27 states, including the FCT.

It stated that “Nigeria and the African region were certified Wild Polio Virus free in 2020, following a rigorous verification and certification process by the African Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication which spanned three years.

“Till date, there has been no case of WPV anywhere in the country.”

The agency said it would intensify surveillance and vaccination campaigns in collaboration with its partners to contain possible occurrence of the Wild Polio Virus in the country.

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

“For the avoidance of doubt, no case of Wild Polio Virus has been reported anywhere in the country since the last case in 2016. We currently have 395 cases of Circulating Mutant Poliovirus Type 2 across 27 states and the FCT.

“Nigeria and the African region were certified Wild Polio Virus free in 2020 following a rigorous verification and certification process by the African Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication which spanned three years of no detection of WPV. To date, there has been no case of WPV anywhere in the country.

“Working with our Donors and Development Partners, Nigeria has already acquired new tools and resources to ensure the outbreaks are contained through very robust outbreak responses using the novel Oral Polio Vaccine which has been shown to be effective in halting the spread of the cMPV2.

“All 36 states and FCT have completed, at least, one nOPV2 Outbreak Response. Several other rounds of the OBR, as well as other campaigns to improve the mucosal immunity of children aged 0 to 5 years old using Injectable Polio Vaccine, have also been planned for this year. Efforts are also being ramped up to increase routine immunization coverage beyond pre-COVID values.

“NPHCDA assures Nigerians that the Agency and Partners will continue to conduct surveillance and vaccination campaigns to prevent and contain any possible importation of the Wild Polio Virus into the country.

“We use this opportunity to reiterate the importance of parents and caregivers bringing their children for routine immunization against vaccine-preventable diseases,” a statement issued against the reported false outbreaks read.