The Executive Director of, National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, has stated that about 121 children have been infected by the environmental poliovirus across the country.
Addressing the third quarter review meeting of the union of Northern Traditional Leaders’ Committee (NTLC) on Primary Health Care (PHC) delivery, yesterday, in Abuja, he said: “With the different disease outbreaks we are contending with, it is imperative that our approach becomes more integrated.”
According to the NPHCDA boss, the outbreak cut across different parts of the country with more than half of the states having one case because they are all interwoven.
His words: “Amid the Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19), we have cholera, circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2), which is a result of suboptimal routine immunisation in some parts of the country. As we conduct outbreak response campaigns, we need to find a way to integrate our responses for efficient utilisation of available resources and to enhance confidence in our people.
“The integration will also enhance our determination to continue to safeguard our wild poliovirus-free status. Consequently, mobilisation, sensitisation, advocacy, and role modelling efforts should target multiple interventions simultaneously.”
On the nature of the poliovirus, he told newsmen that there was a clear distinction between the wild poliovirus that had been eradicated in Africa and the current outbreak of different types of poliovirus.
“This is a virus that exists where there is low routine immunisation care – where women don’t take their kids for immunisation shot against polio, measles and yellow fever-like our parents used to do, back then. Where there is no full routine immunisation and where there is poor water and sanitation, then you begin to see the virus is mutating just as you see in COVID-19 mutating.”