Nigeria: UN, WHO Appeal For More Surveillance Of Polio To Prevent Virus’ Return

The United Nations (UN) and it’s World Health Organization agency (WHO) on Friday appealed for more surveillance of polio to prevent the return of the virus to Nigeria or other African countries, reported Anadolu Agency.

Edward Kallon, the UN resident coordinator in Nigeria, called out African countries to boost vaccination in order to ensure polio is not reintroduced to the continent.

“We should not be complacent, we should continue to ensure children are vaccinated at the appropriate ages and [with the] right vaccine to ensure this thing does not repeat itself,” Kallon said during his visit to the last survivors of polio cases in Nigeria and Africa.

Walter Mulombo, the WHO’s country representative, said two Asian countries still have cases of wild poliovirus. He urged nations to be vigilant, as polio anywhere in the world could spread to other places.

The Africa Regional Certification Commission, an independent regional body for polio and disease outbreak assessment, declared Nigeria as polio free in late August. Before then, Nigeria was the only African nation left with the virus.

The African region was certified free of wild poliovirus last month after four years without a single case of wild polio. The announcement was made at a virtual session of the 70th WHO Regional Committee for Africa.

In related news, Nigeria reported more than 130 new coronavirus cases and two fatalities on Friday.

In a daily update, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said the country’s overall count since March now stands at 56,735, including 1,093 deaths. At least 48,092 patients have recovered from COVID-19 so far, according to the NCDC.

The health authority added that coronavirus infections and fatalities have been recorded in 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory of Nigeria. The commercial capital Lagos remains Nigeria’s worst-hit city with over 18,700 cases, followed by the Federal Capital Territory with almost 5,500 cases, and the southwestern Oyo State with over 3,200 confirmed cases.

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