General

Cross Rivers state denies existence of polio

The Cross River State Government says the suspected case of wild polio virus in the state has turned out to be a birth defect.

Dr Inyang Asibong, the state Commissioner for Health, told newsmen on Wednesday in Calabar that the affected child under investigation was born with a deformity known as talipes equinovarus.

She explained that reported case of poliomyelitis in Ekpene Eki community in Odukpani Local Government Area of the state was false.

I want to clearly debunk that story; there is no case of polio, she said.

Dr Asibong however said that state epidemiologists were investigating the case, adding that a sample of the child had been taken to a laboratory in Ibadan for testing.

Also, Dr Betta Edu, Director-General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said that Cross River is polio free.

Edu said she personalhas described as falsehood, reported case of poliomyelitis in Ekpene Eki community in Odukpani Local Government Area of the state.

I wish to say that the reported case of polio in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River is not true.We just had our child and maternal health week and that area in question was fully covered,”

Asibong said that state epidemiologists were investigating the case, adding that a sample of the child had been taken to a laboratory in Ibadan for testing.

Also, Dr Betta Edu, Director-General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said she personally carried out a physical examination of the child and found that he was born with talipes equinovarus.

From the history given by the parents, that child was born with a congenital malformation: Polio is not a diagnosis made clinically.Polio is a laboratory diagnosis and so seeing a child that has a congenital malformation and saying it is a case of polio does not add up,” she said.

Providing more details she said the mother of the child had also sought help from traditional medicine practitioners.

The mother of the baby said when the child was about three to four months, the parents noticed that one leg was different from the other one leg was straight while the other was curved at the ankle.The child’s parents took him to a bone setter who at some point tried to intervene but did not correct that deformity and so they left the child”, she said.

Nigeria on polio alert

All states in the federation are currently on alert in response to the resurfacing of polio after more than two years.

Nigeria was on the verge of eliminating the virus when between July and August 2026, three laboratory confirmed cases of the WPV1 were detected in Borno state, north east of the country.

Since then, large scale vaccination have been taking place across the country as citizens are advised to be vigilant and report all suspected cases.

Nigeria is one of only three countries in the world with ongoing wild poliovirus transmission, alongside Afghanistan and Pakistan

Source: Voice of Nigeria