Health

Fresh polio outbreak: FG, WHO, UNICEF roll out emergency immunization campaign

Photo credit: BBC

Following the fresh outbreak of wild polio virus in two Local Government Areas of Borno State, the Federal Ministry of Health supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO), United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative have begun an emergency Polio immunization campaign in the affected northern state of Nigeria, News Agency of Nigeria quoted an official saying.

In the affected areas two children had been paralysed by the disease.

The UNICEF Chief of Communication, Doune Porter, said in a statement in Abuja on Friday that the campaign would commence in the accessible parts of the state.

 

Porter said that the campaign followed confirmation of two fresh cases of polio virus in two council areas of the state which recently became accessible.

The UNICEF Chief of Communication said the outbreak occurred in the conflict-ridden state where children were already facing dangerously high levels of malnutrition.

Porter said the discovery underlined risks for children in conflict and underscored the urgent need to eradicate the disease in conflict-affected areas.

He said that Nigeria had its last confirmed polio case in 2014 and was within a year of being certified polio-free because of massive mobilisation by government, partners and local health providers.

“We cannot deny the connection between conflict and the continued threat of polio. The two new cases mean children across the Lake Chad region are now at particular risk.

“With our partners, we will not stop until we reach every child with polio vaccination,” Porter said.

 

Credit:

NAN; The Punch

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