FG Confirms Outbreak of Polio in Borno





The Federal Government has confirmed the outbreak of wild
polio virus in Borno State, which has affected two children
from Gwoza and Jere Local Government Areas (LGA) of the
State.
According to the Minister for Health, who made this known
in a press statement, he said the discovery and
confirmation of the outbreak was as a result of
strengthened surveillance due to improved accessibility
which has been made possible by the recent military action
in liberating more communities in the North-Eastern part of
the country.
The Minister said the detection of children paralyzed by
polio shows that surveillance has increased with more
access but it is a reminder that the country needs to remain
vigilant and immunize all eligible children with polio vaccine
until polio is completely eradicated worldwide.
‘’Our overriding priority right now is to rapidly boost
immunity in the affected areas to ensure that no more
children are affected by this terrible disease.’’ He added.
To this end, the Minister has directed the deployment of a
national emergency response team, comprising government
and partners to Borno State for immediate and robust polio
vaccination campaign, targeting eligible children to prevent
the spread of the virus locally and internationally.
The Federal Ministry of Health through the National Primary
Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) with the
support of partners including WHO and UNICEF are
conducting detailed risk analysis to clearly ascertain the
extent of circulation of the virus, and to assess overall
levels of population immunity in order to guide the
response.
As an immediate response, about one million children are
to be immunized in four local government areas in Borno
State. Children in adjoining states of Yobe, Adamawa and
Gombe will also be immunized bringing the number to
about five million in the four states.
Prof.Adewole reiterates the Federal Government’s
commitment to achieving a polio-free Nigeria and assures
the general public that this outbreak will be controlled as
soon as possible adding that government will provide the
needed resources to contain it.
He therefore called on other states and local governments
to redouble their efforts by safeguarding their territories
from importation of the virus by providing the required
leadership and ensuring accountability among healthcare
workers and other stakeholders.
It would be recalled that in 2012, Nigeria accounted for
more than half of all polio cases worldwide, but the country
has made significant strides in recent years, going two
years without a single case.
This progress has been as a result of concerted efforts by
all level of government, civil society, traditional and religious
leaders as well as dedicated health workers.

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