Friday, 27th May 2022
<To guardian.ng
Search
Breaking News:

New Polio cases in Borno underline risks for children in conflict, says UNICEF

By Chukwuma Muanya
13 August 2016   |   4:04 am
The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) yesterday said the sobering news that two children have been paralysed by wild poliovirus in Borno State underscores the urgency of eradicating the disease in conflict-affected areas.

unicef

The United Nation Children’s Fund (UNICEF) yesterday said the sobering news that two children have been paralysed by wild poliovirus in Borno State underscores the urgency of eradicating the disease in conflict-affected areas.

The federal government and the World Health Organisation (WHO) on Thursday confirmed an outbreak of wild poliovirus in conflict-ridden Borno, where children are already facing dangerously high levels of malnutrition.

The two cases were discovered in areas that have recently become accessible, even as large areas of the state remain unreachable.

According to a statement by UNICEF, Nigeria, and the continent, had its last confirmed polio case on July 24, 2014 and was within a year of being certified polio-free, thanks to a massive mobilisation by the government, partners and local health providers.

UNICEF Polio Eradication Director, Reza Hossaini, said: “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.”

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 the state.

UNICEF is a partner of the Initiative, together with WHO, Rotary International, Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in the fight against polio.