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NPHCDA: 395 cases of mutant poliovirus recorded in 28 states

NPHCDA: 395 cases of mutant poliovirus recorded in 28 states
January 13
15:40 2022

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says 395 cases of circulating mutant poliovirus type two (cMPV2) have been reported in 27 states and the federal capital territory (FCT).

On August 25, 2020, the Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) for polio eradication officially declared Nigeria and the rest of Africa free of indigenous wild poliovirus.

However, cMPV2 outbreaks occur as a result of immunity gaps in children due to low routine immunisation coverage, and missing children during immunisation campaigns.

The viruses thrive in areas with poor sanitation, open defecation, and inadequate access to clean drinking water.

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These non-wild polio viruses are, however, not as virulent as the wild poliovirus and are also being reported in many other countries.

In a statement on Thursday signed by Faisal Shuaib, its executive director, the NPHCDA said its attention had been drawn to reports in the media claiming that there is an outbreak of a new polio virus in some states.

“For the avoidance of doubt, no case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) has been reported anywhere in the country since the last case in 2016,” the statement reads.

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“We currently have 395 cases of Circulating Mutant Poliovirus Type 2 (cMPV2) across 27 states and the FCT.”

The NPHCDA said the “suspension of several polio campaigns and other health programmes in 2020, as well as disruptions to routine immunization 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”.

“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 o-5 years old using Injectable Polio Vaccine (IPV) have also been planned for this year. Efforts are also being ramped up to increase routine immunization coverage beyond pre-COVID values.

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“NPHCDA assures Nigerians that the Agency and Partners will continue to conduct surveillance 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 immunization against vaccine preventable diseases.”

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