WHO confirms third polio case in Nigeria

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed a third case of polio in Nigeria.

Aminu Muhammad, Rotary Club’s field coordinator, disclosed this on Monday, saying a crippled toddler found in Monguno Local Government Area of Borno State, was the victim.

Last month, two cases of the virus were discovered in Borno, with the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole describing the development as a setback for the nation.

“It is unfortunate that we have the development. It has set us back, but I can assure the nation that we will do everything possible to be on top of the situation.

“We are meeting again today. We had a meeting yesterday to look at the situation. We are drawing out an emergency plan and in the next 48 hours, we are dispatching a team there and we are going to start immunisation.

“We would do three rounds of special immunisation campaigns to make sure that we contain the situation,” he said.

Nigeria recently celebrated two years of not recording  a single polio case, but WHO said the virus had circulated undetected for five years.

Rotary is participating in a new emergency immunisation drive that vaccinated more than 1.5 million children last week in Borno.

The campaign is to spread across the country, with a plan to reach 25 million children before the end of the year.

The military had also helped with the vaccination drive, which included logistics and other aid from the US Centres for Disease Control, the United Nations and Britain’s Save the Children, as well as government health workers.

Military helicopters flew vaccines into places too dangerous to reach by road and truckloads of troops and armoured cars escorted vaccinators elsewhere.

Muhammad, however, said they were using “hit and run” tactics to reach kids in areas where Boko Haram is present.