New cases

There was a number of wild poliovirus and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus cases reported this past week, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI).

Afghanistan Pakistan map/Public domain image- Pahari Sahib

In Afghanistan, three wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases have been reported in the past week, all with onset of paralysis in March: one each from Sangin and Washer districts in Hilmand province and one from Chora district in Uruzgan province.

This brings the total cases in 2019 to six in Afghanistan.

There is advance notification of two wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) cases in Pakistan; one from Bannu district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province and one from North Waziristan district in KPTD.

The cases have onset of paralysis reported on 2 and 4 April 2019 respectively. Once confirmed, this will bring the total number of WPV1 cases in Pakistan to eight so far this year.

In addition, three African countries reported circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus cases–Nigeria—two circulating vaccine-derived type 2 (cVDPV2) cases and six cVDPV2-positive environmental samples; Democratic Republic of Congo — one cVDPV2 case and two cVDPV2 community isolates; Somalia—one cVDPV2 case and one cVDPV2 contact isolate.

Nigeria polio-free status gets closer

Nigeria map/CIA

Local media report that the Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, has announced that in six months’ time, Nigeria will be declared polio-free.

Speaking at the media conference to mark the African Vaccination Week, Shuaib, however emphasized that though there was a lot to celebrate in terms of immunization coverage, there is still a lot of work to done in order to improve health outcomes on the continent.

“I have no doubt that with our very encouraging record of not having a single case of Wild Polio Virus in any part of the country in the past three years, we shall celebrate a polio free Nigeria of our dreams”, he said.

No cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) has been reported in the country since the one detected from Borno State with a date of onset of paralysis on 21 August 2016.

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