Polio WPV Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus type 2 (cVDPV2)
There has been an 85% decrease in Circulating Vaccine Derived Polio Virus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases.

Polio: Nigeria Records 60% Reduction – NPHCDA

The National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) says there has been a 60 per cent reduction in circulating variant poliovirus type 2 (cVPV2) cases in 2023 compared to 2022 and more than 95 per cent reduction since the peak of the outbreak in 2021 in the country.

The Executive Director, NPHCDA, Dr. Faisal Shuaib, disclosed this at the 40th Expert Review Committee meeting on polio and routine immunisation in Abuja.

He acknowledged the significant impact of the circulating variant of poliovirus type 2 on communities in the past year, with over 1000 cases recorded.

He said, “Polio, an ancient and relentless foe, has tested our resilience for decades. But we have not faltered; we have not surrendered. Together, we fought several battles until we won the war against wild polio virus.

“Now, the time has come to overcome its counterpart known as the circulating variant polio virus (cVPV2). We have the tools, the knowledge, the experience and the unwavering spirit to achieve this monumental task.

“The battle against cVPV2 requires a united front – a bond between traditional, religious and local leaders, health workers, parents, and every citizen who dreams of a polio-free future.”

He expressed gratitude for the dedication and resilience of frontline workers, especially in insecure areas, who have tirelessly administered polio vaccine drops to children.

Read Also: New Polio Variant: 51 Cases Recorded In Nigeria – WHO

Shuaib reiterated parental responsibility in vaccinating children to prevent diseases, citing a diphtheria outbreak as a stark example of the consequences of non-compliance.

He also called on state governments to invest in primary healthcare, which forms the foundation of a robust healthcare system, ultimately contributing to socioeconomic development.

In his address, the Chairman of the Expert Review Committee meeting on Polio and Routine Immunisation Prof. Akin Osibogun underscored the need to maintain pressure to prevent resurgence and discussed achievements and unfulfilled recommendations..

Osibogun noted that boosting the immune system would help to deal with environment-related diseases, and diseases emanating from human contact with animals.

He added that implementing strong policies would also help to tackle some emerging diseases experienced in the country.

He emphasised the importance of one health approach while calling on all stakeholders to inhabit the international health regulation and stay committed to the country’s health security.

Also representing the UNICEF country representative in Nigeria, the Chief of Health, Dr Edwardo Celades, acknowledged the 60 per cent reduction in polio cases and integration efforts in primary healthcare in the country.

Also speaking, the WHO’s Country Representative, Dr Walter Kazadi Mulombo., said the health organisation has redistributed over three thousand surge staff to respond to the current epidemiology with an average increase of about 20 per cent in Sokoto, Zamfara, Kebbi and Zamfara States.