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Nigeria confirms 395 cases of mutant poliovirus in 27 states, capital

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The National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) on Thursday confirmed 395 cases of circulating mutant poliovirus type two (cMPV2) in 27 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The NPHCDA Executive Secretary, Faisal Shuaib, who disclosed this in a statement in Abuja, however, said no case of Wild Polio Virus (WPV) had been reported anywhere in the country since 2016.

He attributed the occurrence of cMPV2 in Nigeria and other parts of the world to suspension of polio campaigns and disruptions of routine immunization by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) on polio eradication declared Nigeria and other countries on the continent free of the wild poliovirus in August 2020.

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

“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.

READ ALSO: Adamawa announces four new cases of polio despite Nigeria’s polio-free status

“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.

“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.

“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.”

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