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|Polio Variant Resurfaces In Kano by vigopress: 7:13am On Jul 09, 2021|
NIGERIA RISKS RETRIEVAL OF POLIO-FREE CERTIFICATE AS POLIO VARIANT RESURFACES - KANO GOVT
By Kolawole Omoniyi
Kano State Government has confirmed a new case of Circulating Derived Vaccine Polio type 2 (cVDPV2) in the State, an indication that the outbreak of Wild Polio Virus is looming in the Country if urgent action is not taken.
Recall that Nigeria was certified polio free in August 2020. However, the status is currently hanging in the balance following the discovery of the case of cVDPV2 in Kano, six of such case in Yobe and five in Jigawa State – all within the North West region - as confirmed by the Kano State Commissioner for Health, Dr Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa on Thursday.
While fielding questions from journalists during the flag off of the seasonal malaria chemo prevention campaign in Kano, the Commissioner who spoke through the State Director of Public Health, Dr Bashir Lawal said “with regard to the circulating derived vaccine polio virus we are having in the country, it has been isolated, we discovered one case in Kano, six in Yobe and five in Jigawa State, all in the North Western part of the country”.
The Commissioner said the cVDPV2 cases were discovered through experimentation of environmental sampling, not within human bodies as being experimented in the case of wild polio virus. He however warned that if adequate measures are not in place, the development may give birth to another cases of wild polio virus and eventual retrieval of the country’s polio free certificate.
“This development is to show a kind of laxity from us, this is environmental sampling, not within humans and it is trying to show that if care is not taken, then the wild polio virus can come back around and what that means is that we are at risk of getting our certificate (polio-free certificate) retrieved” He said.
He clarified further that “when you have circulating virus does not mean that you have wild polio virus but it is a kind of window with which you see and then also reflect on your performances, one of which is after polio certification, is strengthening polio immunization”.
He outlined the measures activated by stakeholders to avert the looming wild polio virus to include series of routine immunization campaigns. “This is the reason why national calendar now put outbreak response (OBR) in phases, phase 0, 1 & 2”.
“We did phase 0 in January, we have just concluded phase 1 in June and thirdly in the next couple of weeks, we are going to have phase 2 of the OBR with regard to or in an attempt to see that we wipe out the issue of circulating virus, not wild polio virus” He explained.
On the flag off of another seasonal malaria chemo prevention campaign, Dr Tsanyawa said the move was to avert more than 75% of both uncomplicated and severe malaria among under five years old children across the State. He added that 60% of clinical malaria cases occurring within 4 months of raining season, hence the need for the exercise.
He urged parents to avail their children aged 3-59 months for the four days free SMC mass drug administration against malaria, adding that the exercise which is targeting 3,108,050 children across every wards in Kano, began on Thursday and will last till next four days.
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