Nigeria records no polio case in nine months

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NIGERIA has recorded no case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in the last nine months, and is three months away from being certified polio-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to the Weekly Polio Update released yesterday, ahead of the World Immunisation Week, April 24 to 30, by the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI), no new wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases were reported in the past week.

The report reads: “Nigeria’s total WPV1 case count for 2014 remains six. No cases have been reported in 2015. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on July 24 in Sumaila Local Government Area (LGA), Kano State.

“No new type 2 circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV2) cases were reported this week. The most recent case had onset of paralysis on November 16 in Barde Local Council of Yobe State. The total number of cVDPV2 cases for 2014 in Nigeria remains 30. No cases have been reported in 2015.”

The GPEI report, which was corroborated by the Executive Director of National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), said the National Immunisation Days are scheduled from April 25 to 28 using trivalent oral polio vaccine (OPV) in most of the country, bivalent (OPV2) in the south-west and Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV) in some areas of the North.

Meanwhile, the Special Adviser on Health to the Lagos State Governor, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, yesterday said about 4.3 million children have been immunised against childhood preventable diseases especially poliomyelitis in the recently concluded March National Immunization Plus Days (NIPDs) exercise in the state.

 Adeshina in a chat with reporters on the state of preparedness for the implementation of the forthcoming April NIPDs exercise where over four million children are targeted, noted that the four days March NIPDs was adjudged successful with 96 per cent coverage using the state population figure.

She stated that the Expert Review Committee on Polio Eradication in Nigeria has recommended two rounds of NIPDs in March and April 2015, targeted at all children under the age of five years, adding that the children will be immunised with two drops of supplemental oral polio vaccine while the left little finger of all immunised children will be marked for ease of identification.

The Special Adviser in a statement signed by the Special Assistant on Media to the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mr. Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, said: “The significance of immunisation campaigns such as these cannot be over-emphasised, as it is known that immunisation is the most cost-effective strategy in disease prevention among children under five years of age.”

She explained that poliomyelitis commonly called polio is a viral disease yet to be eradicated in Nigeria, adding that it is one of the preventable childhood diseases which was highly infectious and mainly affects young children.

She further stressed also that the virus is transmitted through contaminated food and water and it multiplies in the intestine from where it can invade the nervous system.

Adeshina said: “NIPDs campaign is essentially a polio campaign initiated under the Polio Eradication Initiative in Nigeria which aims to increase the number of children immunised by immunising at least 95% of children aged 0-59 months with Oral Polio Virus (OPV) in all councils, regardless of their previous immunisation status; to reduce zero dose rate, that is children that have never received immunisation before; to increase routine immunisation coverage; and to promote integration of other child survival.”

She noted that the April NIPDs campaign will also be implemented for only four days; from Saturday April 25 to Tuesday, April 28, 2015, stressing that the campaign will involve house-to-house, transit and fixed post teams, adding also that children at homes, markets, churches, mosques, major car parks and social event venues would be specifically targeted.

“Though the first day of the April NIPDs coincides with the Environmental Sanitation Day, preparations are in place to ensure thorough fare for all the implementers and monitors. The coincidence with the Environmental Sanitation Day is in effect an added advantage to the success of the exercise as mothers and caregivers would be home with their babies,” Adeshina said.

The Special Adviser stated that a target population of over four million children is expected to be covered in tandem with Lagos State population figure in the April NIPDs exercise, adding that the house-to-house and transit components of the immunisation teams will administer only OPV to children aged 0–59 months irrespective of their immunisation status and encourage the eligible children in the houses to visit the immunisation posts for the other antigens.

“In all, Lagos State will mount 752 fixed posts, 2,189 house-to-house and 1,712 transit teams. Plans have been made to implement activities that would attract children and caregivers to vaccination posts like vaccination post banners, drumming, music, giving of ‘pluses’ to immunised children, among others. The hours of service will be between 7 a.m. and 2 p.m. daily for the four days,” she explained.

While noting that the immunisation service is free, Adeshina appealed to parents and caregivers to ensure that all children under the age of five years receive polio vaccine irrespective of their immunisation status. She added also that children requiring other antigens apart from OPV should be taken to the nearest primary healthcare centre for full vaccination from other childhood killer diseases.

The Guardian news – culled from: http://www.ngrguardiannews.com/2015/04/nigeria-records-no-polio-case-in-nine-months/

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