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New Polio Variant Resurfaces In Kano, Yobe, Jigawa; No Human Infection Yet

polio vaccination
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July 09, (THEWILL) – The Kano State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Aminu Ibrahim Tsanyawa, has confirmed a new case of Circulating Derived Vaccine Polio type 2 (cVDPV2) in the state.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had in August 2020, certified Nigeria, polio-free.

Speaking with Pressmen during the flag-off of the seasonal malaria chemoprevention 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 poliovirus we are having in the country, it has been isolated, we discovered one case in Kano, six in Yobe and five in Jigawa States.’’

He added that the cVDPV2 cases were discovered through experimentation of environmental sampling, not within human bodies as being experimented in the case of wild poliovirus.

The Commissioner however warned that if adequate measures are not in place, the development may give birth to another case of wild poliovirus and eventual retrieval of the country’s polio-free certificate.

His words, “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 poliovirus can come back around and what that means is that we are at risk of getting our certificate (polio-free certificate) retrieved.

“When you have circulating virus, it does not mean that you have wild poliovirus 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, and is strengthening polio immunization.”

He outlined the measures activated by stakeholders to avert the wild poliovirus to include a series of routine immunization campaigns.

“This is the reason why the national calendar now puts outbreak response (OBR) in phases 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 poliovirus,” he explained.

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 ward in Kano, began on Thursday and will last for the next four days.

Commenting on the flag-off of another seasonal malaria chemoprevention campaign, Dr. Tsanyawa said the move was to avert more than 75 percent of both uncomplicated and severe malaria among under five years old children across the State.

He added that 60 percent of clinical malaria cases occur within four months of the rainy season, hence the need for exercise.