After 2 Years Of Zero Incidence, Nigeria Records New Polio Cases

Nigeria records New polio cases

Minister of Health, Isaac Adewole, has lamented the two confirmed cases of Wild Polio Virus Type 1 in Borno State, saying that the development was a setback for the nation.

Nigeria reportedly recorded two new cases of Wild Polio Virus Type 1 at Gwoza and Jere in Borno State, on Tuesday, after the country had celebrated two years of zero incidence of polio.

Speaking to journalists on Thursday on the sideline of the Family Planning Consultative Stakeholders Meeting at the Banquet Hall, State House in Abuja, Adewole said government would do everything possible to contain the situation.

He assured that emergency plans are being made to dispatch a team to Borno State to start immunization.

According to the minister, the federal government would do three rounds of special immunization campaigns to make sure that the situation is contained.

He said, “It is unfortunate that we have the development. It has set us back. But I can assure the nation that we will do everything possible to be on top of the situation.

“We are meeting again today. We had a meeting yesterday to look at the situation. We are drawing out an emergency plan and in the next 48 hours, we are dispatching a team there and we are going to start immunization.

“We would do three rounds of special immunization campaigns to make sure that we contain the situation.”

The minister attributed the outbreak to insurgents’ activities in the Northeast but promised the international community that a robust response would be launched.

New Cases In Liberated Communities

“One of the cases is from Gwoza, which is actually close to the border. The other one is Jere. We suspect that both of them are linked to the insurgents eclipse,” he said.

“Mr. President himself when we had a meeting last week observed that as we liberate more areas, we should expect challenges. But we did not expect that there would be polio. We were expecting nutrition and other problems.

“As a nation, we will rise up to the challenge. We are assured by our international partners and we will launch a robust response.

He added, “We have enough funding for immunization in the 2016 budget. We have more projections for 2017 and 2018.  We are robustly supported by international partners. We have signed on to a World Bank loan to make ensure that we have enough funding. So, I think money is not the issue. The issue has to do with the access and the insurgency operations.”



    Speaking on the effect of the outbreak, the Commissioner for Health, Borno State, Haruna Mshelia said Nigeria would have to start the polio-free certification all over again.

    “What that means is that the certification will start all over again. It wasn’t that we were not doing the job, a chunk of the state was out of reach, and we couldn’t reach children there.

    “For this to happen now, we will redouble our effort to ensure we mop up and immunise every child that is liberated so that such a thing will not happen again.”

    He maintained that Gwoza is currently still partially accessible where people are living with no access to modern health care.

    “The ones in Jere were displaced from another local government called Marfa where not all places are accessible. Where we have had access in the last two years we have no had case of polio at all. All these cases are coming out of areas that were liberated by the gallant activities of our military.”

    Join the ICIR WhatsApp channel for in-depth reports on the economy, politics and governance, and investigative reports.

    Support the ICIR

    We invite you to support us to continue the work we do.

    Your support will strengthen journalism in Nigeria and help sustain our democracy.

    If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation


    Please enter your comment!
    Please enter your name here

    Support the ICIR

    We need your support to produce excellent journalism at all times.

    - Advertisement


    - Advertisement