UNICEF blames Boko Haram war for return of wild polio to Nigeria •Rolls out emergency immunisation campaign

Posted by News Express | 12 August 2016 | 2,383 times

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The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has blamed the return of wild polio virus to Nigeria on the Boko Haram war in the country’s North-East.

“We cannot deny the connection between conflict and the continued threat of polio. The two new cases mean children across the Lake Chad region are now at particular risk. With our partners, we will not stop until we reach every child with polio vaccination,” said UNICEF Polio Eradication Director Reza Hossaini in a statement issued Thursday in New York, USA.
“The Federal Ministry of Health of Nigeria, supported by WHO, UNICEF and partners of the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, are rolling out an emergency immunisation campaign, starting in the accessible parts of Borno State,” the statement said.
It described as sobering news that two children have been paralysed by wild poliovirus in Borno State, saying that this “underscores the urgency of eradicating the disease in conflict-affected areas.”
According to the statement made available to News Express by e-mail, “The Government of Nigeria and the World Health Organization have confirmed an outbreak of wild poliovirus in conflict-ridden Borno State, where children are already facing dangerously high levels of malnutrition. The two cases were discovered in parts of Borno that have recently become accessible, but large areas of the state remain unreachable.”
It noted that “Nigeria – and the continent – had its last confirmed polio case two years ago and was within a year of being certified polio-free, thanks to a massive mobilisation by the government, partners and local health providers.”
•Photo shows UNICEF Polio Eradication Director Reza Hossaini.

Source: News Express

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