Nigeria Reports New Polio Cases Since 2014

Nigeria reported the first new cases of wild poliovirus in more than two years, after two children were paralyzed by polio in Borno state in north-eastern Nigeria.

As recently as 2012, the west African country accounted for more than half of all the polio cases in the world, however since then, Nigeria has made significant strides to stop this dangerous disease.

The two new cases are the first ones to be reported after more than two years without any new wild poliovirus cases in the country.

WHO added that the two new cases have underscored that reaching the children in affected areas requires vaccinating populations that move in and out of inaccessible areas and areas plagued by violence due to the Boko Haram insurgency, particularly in Nigeria’s north-east.

Furthermore, agencies have to work with local-level groups and organizations, such as religious institutions and community based organizations, to negotiate access for vaccination teams.

The world is very close to reaching the goal of polio eradication. Only 21 wild polio cases have been reported so far in 2016, compared to 34 cases at the same point last year.

Only two other countries are reporting polio: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Four out of the six WHO Regions of the world have been certified polio-free, and only one of the three types of wild poliovirus is still circulating in the world (type 1).