Two years after Nigeria missed been certified polio free, another polio case has been confirmed in a three-year-old girl at Baruten LGA in Kwara State.
The suspected polio cases earlier picked up in the second week in January and confirmed as a vaccine-derived poliovirus last Wednesday, is coming earlier in 2019, a year that Nigeria is expected to be certified polio-free.
Executive Secretary, Oyo State Primary Health Care Board, Dr Lanre Abass, who confirmed the incidence, said already field officers of both Kwara and Oyo State governments had embarked on massive polio vaccination of children both in Baruten and its five neighbour local governments in Oyo State.
Abass, who expressed concern on the new vaccine-derived poliovirus said “it is very important to take it as seriously as anything and ensure border synchronization so that so settlement is mixed.
“Our team is working with those teams coming from Kwara State so that no settlement is left unattended to. We started immunisation on Saturday and this is continuing till Tuesday. The idea is to catch all children at home, churches and even in schools today and tomorrow.”
Nigeria was in July 2016 declared polio-free by WHO until two polio cases were detected in the north-eastern state of Borno that was linked with poor immunisation coverage due to Boko Haram insurgency in the area.
While vaccine strains of the poliovirus are expected in be circulation to confer protection, experts say that there was the tendency for children to come down with the disease if exposure to wild strains of poliovirus.
They say that new wild-polio cases were indicative that routine immunisation exercise nationwide should not be a ceremonial but its part of our culture and tradition so that all children can get immunise from time to time.