Polio WPV
The virus strain that causes poliomyelitis (Wild Polio Virus).

Nigeria On High Alert Over Possible Reemergence Of WPV

Nigeria is currently on high alert over the possible re-emergence of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) within the country.

This was revealed last week as Governor Kathy Hochul, the governor of the State of New York, declared a state disaster emergency after poliovirus was detected in another county.

The order allows Emergency Medical Service (EMS) workers, midwives, and pharmacists to administer vaccines and permits doctors and nurses to issue standing orders for polio vaccines.

Dr. Mary T. Bassett, the New York State Health Commissioner, said in a statement: “On polio, we simply cannot roll the dice. If you or your children are unvaccinated or not up to date with vaccinations, the risk of paralytic disease is real. I urge New Yorkers to not accept any risk at all.”

Also, there are concerns that the ongoing monkeypox pandemic could become more fatal as vaccines, treatments, and tests are unavailable in much of the world, especially in Africa.

A report that was published yesterday by The New York Times showed that high-income countries snapped up vaccine jabs when the disease hit them, leaving none for countries that have battled the virus for years.

Read Also: Nigeria Celebrates 3rd Anniversary of WPV Eradication

An investigation by The Guardian, which was confirmed by the report, showed there are no doses of monkeypox vaccines purchased or ordered for African countries to date.

Sources at the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) told The Guardian that the country does not have any dose of monkeypox or smallpox vaccines.

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Brazil, which has close to 10 percent of global monkeypox cases, currently has no vaccine or treatment either. Nor do the countries in West and Central Africa that have struggled with monkeypox outbreaks for decades.

The scramble for monkeypox vaccines and treatments has been centered in the United States and Europe, where supplies of shots have stretched thin or nearly run out. But more than 100 countries are now reporting monkeypox cases, and a vast majority of those have had no vaccine or treatments at all.

They have been shut out by the prohibitive cost and by wealthy nations who bought up most of the available doses.

The United States already controls most of the vaccine, which was originally developed for smallpox, as part of its bioweapons strategy after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001.

Some public health groups are criticising the WHO for not doing more to ensure swift movement on equitable access to tests, treatments, and vaccines, after it declared monkeypox as a public health emergency of international concern on July 23.

They also stated that the issues echo those seen with COVID-19, but without any of the mechanisms that were developed to try to right the balance during the coronavirus pandemic.

SOURCE: The Guardian

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