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Nigeria’s Polio-Free Status Still Intact, FG Assures Nigerians

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Following reports in some sections of the media that there is an outbreak of a new polio variant in some states, the federal government has urged Nigerians not to panic, insisting that there is no case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) anywhere in the country since the last case in 2016.

Describing the report as a gross misrepresentation of the facts, the Executive Director/CEO National Primary Health Care Development Agency, NPHCDA, Dr Faisal Shuaib in a statement on Thursday noted that what is being misconstrued for an outbreak of WPV is the detection, through the country’s robust disease surveillance system of 22 cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis, spread across seven States.

The affected states are Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.

The statement partly reads, “These non-wild polio viruses originated as a result of normal changes in the reproduction of viruses. These viruses are not as virulent as WPV and are also being reported in other countries. Working with our donors and development partners, Nigeria has already acquired new tools and resources to ensure these viruses are contained.

“NPHCDA assures Nigerians that the Agency and partners will continue to conduct surveillance and vaccination campaigns in order to prevent and contain any possible importation of the Wild Polio Virus.”

Recall that Nigeria and the African region were certified Wild Polio Virus (WPV)-free in 2020, following a rigorous verification and certification process by the African Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication (ARCC) which spanned 3 years of no detection of WPV.

The federal government while insisting that there has been no case of WPV isolated anywhere in the country assured Nigerians that the 25th August 2020 WPV-free certification is not in any way under threat.

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