The World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, or  WHO/AFRO, announced today of a third case of wild poliovirus in Nigeria. The case is another child from Borno State in the north-eastern part of the country, a former Boko Haram stronghold.

polioWHO says there is also a high risk of the virus spreading in the Lake Chad area. More cases are expected to be discovered in these areas.

Nigeria went two years without a polio case until last month when two children were diagnosed with the paralytic virus.

Rotary is participating in a new emergency immunization drive that vaccinated more than 1.5 million children last week in Borno and they plan to extend the campaign to cover millions more by year’s end.

However, as many as 600,000 children across north eastern Nigeria remain inaccessible to polio vaccinators, presenting a very real obstacle to polio eradication efforts.

The humanitarian situation in northern Nigeria has worsened substantially in recent weeks, the Global Polio Eradication Initiative said today.

Over seven million people are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance across the country, with limited access to basic health and other essential services, with the main areas impacted by the crisis situated in the north-east.  Access to health services has been drastically compromised, with half of the population not having access to any basic health services.