Nigeria’s Wild Polio Virus-Free Status Not Under Threat, Says NPHCDA

Dr. Faisal Shuaib

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency(NPHCDA) has reassured the public that the country’s wild polio virus-free status is not in any way under threat.

Dr. Faisal Shuaib, Executive Director of the agency, disclosed this yesterday in a statement signed by him.

“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. Till date, there has been no case of WPV isolated anywhere in the Country,” it read.

TheFact Nigeria recalled that there were reports in the media suggesting a resurgence of the disease in the country.

This, the agency debunked and maintained that the polio-free status of Nigeria still stands unthreatened.

“Nigeria and the African region were certified WPV-free on the 25thAugust 2020 and therefore, the polio-free status of the country is not in any way under threat.

“The attention of NPHCDA has been drawn to reports in some sections of the media claiming that there is an outbreak of a new polio variant in some states. This is a gross misrepresentation of the facts. For the avoidance of doubt, no case of WPV has been reported anywhere in the country since the last case in 2016,” said Dr. Faisal.

According to him, “What is being misconstrued for an outbreak of WPV is the detection, through our robust disease surveillance system of 22 cases of Acute Flaccid Paralysis, spread across seven (7) States (Borno, Jigawa, Kano, Kebbi, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara).

“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,” he explained.

He assured the citizenry that the NPHCDA and its partners will continue to conduct surveillance and vaccination campaigns in order to prevent and contain any possible importation of the Wild Polio Virus.

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