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Sunday, August 14, 2016

POLIO IS BACK IN NIGERIA


Nigeria has announced an emergency mass polio
vaccination campaign in the north-east after two new cases
emerged.
They were the first incidences of the highly infectious
disease in Africa for two years.
The government said polio paralysed two children in Borno
state, a part of Nigeria where Boko Haram militants have
hindered health campaigns.
The development is seen as a major setback for Nigeria,
which was on track to be declared polio free in 2017.
The cases were confirmed exactly two years after Africa's
last previous case - in the Puntland region of Somalia, on 11
August 2014.
Nigeria's government said that one million children would be
immunized in the affected areas in Borno and a further four
million will also be targeted in neighbouring states.
Health Minister Isaac Adewole said the priority was to
"boost immunity" and "ensure that no more children are
affected by this terrible disease".
The Nigerian authorities, along with experts from the World
Health Organization (WHO), are currently investigating the
situation to find out where the virus has spread.
The mass vaccination could start "as soon as next week",
WHO Director for Polio Eradication Michel Zaffran told the
BBC Newsday programme.
The militant Islamist Boko Haram insurgency in north-east
Nigeria has made some areas of Borno hard to access in
recent years.
The fact that these two cases have been discovered was a
result of increased health surveillance in the north-east,
which was made possible by military success against Boko
Haram, the government said.
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