AFRICA/NIGERIA - Polio returns in Nigeria, two cases in the north

Saturday, 13 August 2016 minors   area crisis   healthcare  

Lagos (Agenzia Fides) - Nigeria has reported its first two cases of polio after more than two years, in an area that was recently freed from Islamic extremists who attacked the volunteers because of vaccinations, announced the government and the World Health Organization (WHO) last Thursday.
Agencies report that Nigeria had been removed from the WHO list of polio-endemic countries (polio) last October and led to believe that the entire African continent was free from the crippling disease. Unfortunately, two children were paralyzed by polio, in the Borno province, in the northeast of the country, in two different local government areas that have been affected by the presence of the Islamist Boko Haram group, said Health Minister Isaac Adewole in a declaration on Thursday.

Fides, already in 2010 had informed about the difficult situation that the country was facing in this regard. In fact, the strategy of the World Health Organization expects to reach as many children as possible while continuing to protect health professionals (about 200,000 people), to vaccinate 43 million children under five years of age, who are the most vulnerable to infection. In Jos, the goal is to vaccinate 215,000, as reported by official estimates, although the actual number is higher, after 300,000 were vaccinated in December 2009. Nigeria has become the epicenter of the epidemic in the region, after the one that occurred in the second half of 2008. After several rounds of vaccinations, in 2009 the number of reported cases in the country had decreased by almost half. (See Fides 10/03/2010). (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 13/08/2016)

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