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Nigeria records new polio cases

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  • Eradication bid suffers setback as three new cases are discovered in Lagos

  • Embarks of 4-day house-to-house immunisation

 

Nigeria’s polio eradication bid has suffered a major setback following the discovery of three new cases in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital.

News of the discovery of the three cases was announced today at a press briefing by the state government.

As a result of  the discovery in three locations of the state capital – Makoko, Itire, and Maracana, the State Government has announced plans to step up immunisation in the state.

Speaking at an interactive session with Health Correspondents in Lagos earlier today, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Titilayo Goncalves, announced that a 4-day house to house immunization for children aged zero to five years across would be be held from Saturday June 15 to  Tuesday June 18.  The event would be flagged off tomorrow.

The Permanent Secretary pledged that no child would be left out during the campaign.

“The immunization is safe and free.  It can be taken in spite of former Immunization status,” she assured parents, adding that no child is safe from a vaccine preventable disease like polio until immunized.

On his part, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Primary Health Care Board, Dr. Tayo Lawal, described polio as a viral disease that is yet to be eradicated in Nigeria even though it is one of the major vaccine-preventable killer diseases of children under the age of five.

He said the only means of prevention of the disease is through the oral polio vaccination.

“As a State, tremendous progress has been made, in our drive to eradicate polio and drastically reduce the incidence of vaccine-preventable diseases and its attendant morbidity and mortality.  We, therefore, exude optimism that we are on the home stretch of this marathon race against the public health disease called polio.  However, we cannot and will not rest on our oars,” he said.

Also speaking, the representative of World Health Organisation, WHO, Dr. Fiona Braka, said Nigeria has made remarkable progress in the fight against polio, stating that Nigeria is now 32 months without a wild polio virus.

Braka said: “This outbreak we are facing is a different strain and we, therefore, must respond approximately. The goal of this outbreak response is to interrupt that virus. We can only achieve it if everyone works collectively to bring out children to get two drops of polio vaccine over the next for days,” she said.

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