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Nigeria records dip in incidence, moves to eradicate polio next year

By Nkechi Onyedika-Ugoeze, Abuja
08 February 2023   |   9:20 am
Nigeria has recorded 90 per cent drop in cases of Circulating Vaccine-derived Poliovirus type 2 (cVPV2).


[FILES] Polio vaccination

strong>Experts canvass better cancer management guideline

Nigeria has recorded 90 per cent drop in cases of Circulating Vaccine-derived Poliovirus type 2 (cVPV2).

Consequently, the Federal Government has begun engaging partners to fine-tune plans and ensure that the country completely eradicates every single form of polio by the end of 2023.

Executive Director of National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib, who made the disclosure, yesterday in Abuja at the 39th meeting of the Expert Review Committee (ERC) on Polio and Routine Immunisation in Nigeria, observed that in the last few years, Nigeria experienced circulating variant polio virus in some states due to low routine immunisation coverage.

He urged that the solidarity and collaboration that led to eradication of the Wild Polio Virus (WPV) in Nigeria should be sustained, adding that the agency “worked with multiple donors and partners to achieve what we’ve been able to do in the last six years in terms of maintaining a zero WPV transmission.”

Shuaib said: “We’ve seen that we’ve done such a great job of reducing the numbers of those cases by almost 90 per cent.”

“We’ve seen a situation where, because of the integration between routine immunisation and polio campaigns, the agency is doing a better job of reaching more kids.”

He said NPHCDA is working with traditional and religious leaders, as well as community-based organisations and the media to enlighten people on vaccination.

Meanwhile, medical experts have sought standardised guideline for management of cancer in Nigeria.

They said uptake of the National Cancer Comprehensive Network (NCCN)-harmonised guideline or any guideline at all would standardise cancer management and treatment nationwide.

Speaking at a one-day summit to commemorate the 2023 World Cancer Day organised by the National Hospital Abuja (NHA), in collaboration with the American Cancer Society and Federal Ministry of Health, a Consultant General Surgeon and Director of Clinical Services at NHA, Dr. Badejo Olawale, lamented that cancer management and treatment in Nigeria are riddled with numerous challenges, ranging from lack of standardised screening programmes to late patients’ presentation, high cost of treatment, inadequate radiotherapy machines and radiotherapy centres to cater for over 200 million Nigerians.

He added that with the prevailing brain drain in the country, Nigeria does not even have enough specialists, as there currently exists one pathologist to 5,000 slides.

Also speaking, Head, Radiotherapy and Oncology Department, NHA, Uchechukwu Shagayan, backed the advocacy, noting that the NCCN-harmonised guideline is basically for specialist to guide on prevention of cancer all the way to palliation.

On his part, convener, University of Abuja Teaching Hospital Tumour Board, Prof. King-David Yaweo, submitted that through the summit, caregivers have been empowered to know where to find help regarding diagnosis and treatment.

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