Nigeria’s federal government has disclosed that about 130 cases of Circulating Vaccine-derived Poliovirus type 2 (cVPV2) variant were detected in 47 local government areas across 16 states of the country as at September this year.
The Executive Director of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Fraisal Shuaib who disclosed this at the quarterly review meeting of the northern traditional leaders’ committee on primary health care delivery held in Abuja, said following the detection, the agency has commenced outbreak response campaigns in the affected 12 northern States.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), Vaccine-derived poliovirus is a well-documented strain of poliovirus mutated from the strain originally contained in oral polio vaccine (OPV).
OPV contains a live, weakened form of poliovirus that replicates in the intestine for a limited period, thereby developing immunity by building up antibodies.
The virus is transmitted by person-to-person, mainly through the fecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle (contaminated water or food) and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis.
Speaking on the reemergence of Vaccine-drived Poliovirus in parts of the country, Shuaib said, “As at 23 September, 2022, 130 cVPV2 have been detected in 47 local government Areas across 16 states.
“Although this is about 82 per cent reduction compared to the same period in 2021 when we had 711 cVPV2, this is still worrisome as we are witnessing breakthrough transmissions in two states namely Sokoto and Zamfara,” he said.
The NPHCDA Boss said there was the need to further strengthen community engagement as the risk of polio was still very much with us.
He explained that, “apart from the fact that we are still contending with the challenge of cVPV2, the re emergence of WPV in some African countries shows that all countries are vulnerable until the virus is totally eradicated worldwide.”
Shuaib told the traditional rulers that the country has made some modest achievements such as the eradication of the Wild Poliovirus (WPV) and the steady progress in routine immunisation and COVID-19 vaccination.
He added the achievement would not have been possible without the leadership, commitment and sacrifices of the royal fathers.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that your voices amplified the aspirations and interests of the people at the grassroots level. For over a decade, you have been on this journey with us. Let me assure Your Eminence and Royal Highnesses, that we will mever take your support and commitment for granted,” he said.