Human Rights

Nigeria: More States At High Risk of Polio – Govt

There is high risk of further spread of the recent polio outbreak to states surrounding Borno and neighbouring countries around the Lake Chad region, the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole said yesterday.

He spoke in Abuja while giving a situation report on the recent outbreak, adding that this was due to population movement within and around the state.

Last week, Nigeria reported two cases of the wild polio virus in Gwoza and Jere Local Government Areas of Borno State after two years without any case.

The minister said reports from a detailed investigation by the ministry’s team revealed that both cases came from security compromise in areas of Borno State which had limited access to any form of health services including immunisation.

The minister added that for Nigeria, while the timely response in the affected local government areas and environs was critical, the country needed to be proactive to ensure that all children were vaccinated within the shortest time.

He said he had approved the revision of the polio virus outbreak response plan developed by the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency and its partners.

“The response plan includes five rounds of polio campaigns, three of which are focused on l6 northern states and two to be conducted nationwide. These campaigns will be synchronised with the affected regions and provinces of Chad, Niger and Cameroun,” he said.

Adewole added that for the nationwide response, 56, 363, 6l8 children would be vaccinated between October and November 20l6.

While noting that vaccination of children in accessible areas of Gwoza, Jere, Maiduguri Municipal Council, Bama, Mafa (1 ward) LGAs had commenced concurrently with active case search, the ministry was working closely with the Ministry of Defence to provide security for health workers during the house-to-house immunisation.

Also, plans are underway to intensify immunization of intending pilgrims to Saudi Arabia, he said, adding that because of malnutrition among liberated populations he had directed that food materials be provided at Community Management Acute Malnutrition (CMAM) sites along with immunisation.

Source: Daily Trust.