Polio: 100m Children In Africa At Risk Of Paralysis -WHO

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed that over 100 million children were at risk of being paralysed by the circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus type2 (cVDPV2).

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti made the revelation in her message commemorating World Polio Day on Saturday, October 24, 2021.

TheFact Nigeria recalled that Nigeria and the WHO Africa region was certified polio-free on August 25, 2021 after achieving the wild polio virus-free status.

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Dr. Moeti said many of the people that made a wild polio free Africa a reality, were still working tirelessly, going door-to-door to vaccinate children to protect them from the circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2.

She revealed that outbreaks of cVDPV2 was currently affecting 23 African countries and that more than 100 million children remained at risk of paralysis by the vaccine-derived poliovirus.

Proferring solution, she said that the best way to protect these children was by increasing population immunity through routine immunization and ensuring strong surveillance systems were put in place to rapidly detect any cases.

“To end all forms of polio once and for all, these outbreaks must be rapidly contained, by conducting high quality vaccination campaigns, within two months of outbreak notification.

“An additional tool, the novel oral polio vaccine, is now available and it can help to end these outbreaks. I’m proud to say that African countries have been the first globally to rollout this vaccine.

“With dedication of frontline health workers, with engaged communities, national leadership, and the support of partners, we can ensure that vaccines reach every at-risk child by 2023 to protect them and future generations from all forms of polio”, Dr. Moeti said.

The WHO Regional Director for Africa further disclosed that during the 71st session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa in August 2021, health leaders recommitted to “deliver on a promise” by doing everything needed to achieve an Africa free of all forms of polio by 2023.

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