395 Mutant poliovirus cases recorded in 27 states, FCT — NPHCDA

January 14, 2022
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Executive Director/CEO, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, on Thursday said there are currently 395 cases of Circulating Mutant Polio­virus Type 2 (cMPV2) across 27 states and the FCT.

He also hinted that no case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) has been reported anywhere in the country since the last case in 2016.

This was as the attention of NPHC­DA and development partners was drawn to reports in some sections of the media, claiming that there is an outbreak of a new polio virus in some states.

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In a statement made avail­able to newsmen in Abuja by NPHCDA boss, he stated 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 three years of no detec­tion of WPV. “Till date, there has been no case of WPV anywhere in the country”, he said.

The statement read in part, “cMPV2 outbreaks are caused by immunity gaps in children due to several reasons, includ­ing low routine immunisation coverage, and missing children during immunisation cam­paigns. The suspension of sev­eral polio campaigns and other health programmes in 2020 as well as disruptions to routine immunisation because of the COVID-19 pandemic, created further immunity gaps which led to new and wider out­breaks, and further increased transmission of the circulating mutant poliovirus both global­ly and within Nigeria.

“The viruses thrive in ar­eas with poor sanitation, open defecation, and inadequate access to clean drinking water. These have allowed the virus to be easily transmitted from one person to another through contaminated water and poor sewage disposal. Malnutrition occasioned by increasing pov­erty is also a predisposing fac­tor in exposed children. These non-wild polio viruses which originated because of normal changes in the reproduction of viruses in the environment are not as virulent as WPV and are also being reported in many other countries.

“Working with our donors and development partners, Nigeria has already acquired new tools and resources to ensure the outbreaks are con­tained through very robust outbreak responses using the novel Oral Polio Vaccine (nOPV2) which has been shown to be effective in halt­ing the spread of the cMPV2. All 36 states and FCT have completed at least one nOPV2 Outbreak Response (OBR). Several other rounds of the OBR as well as other cam­paigns to improve the mucosal immunity of children aged 0-5 years old using Ineluctable Polio Vaccine (IPV) have also been planned for this year. Efforts are also being ramped up to increase routine immunisation coverage beyond pre-COVID values.

“NPHCDA assures Nigerians that the agency and partners will continue to conductor veil lance and vaccination campaigns to prevent and contain any possi­ble importation of the Wild Polio Virus into the country.

“We use this opportunity to reiterate the importance of parents and caregivers bring­ing their children for routine immunisation against vaccine preventable diseases,” the statement further stated.

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