51 cases of new polio variant recorded in Nigeria – WHO

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said 51 new cases of Circulating Variant Polio Virus (cVPV2) have been detected in Nigeria from January to August 13 this year.

WHO Country Representative in Nigeria, Walter Mulombo disclosed this during a strategic meeting in Kaduna State organised by the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) in collaboration with the Sultan Foundation for traditional leaders of inaccessible communities in the North-West zone.

According to him, while the disease has been detected in 15 local government areas across the country, 47 of the cases are from states in the North-West zone that are facing security challenges, a situation that has now become a major concern for all stakeholders in the health sector.

Mulombo said a majority of the outbreaks were from states facing security challenges in the region, causing setbacks to the country’s attainment of universal health coverage.

The protracted security challenges in the North-West zone, exacerbated by bandits and kidnappers, have led to the breakdown of a health system already experiencing years of neglect and underfunding, affecting the effective delivery of health services, including routine immunisation for children.

Mulombo also lamented how insecurity has hindered access to health services in the North-West zone, thereby leading to a high rate of maternal and infant mortality in the zone.

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