Kaduna State says the influx of nomads from neighbouring states has reintroduced polio into the state.
Kaduna State has witnessed a re-occurence of the wild polio virus as 10 cases have been recorded in the past eight months.
The cases were recorded in Birnin Gwari, Ikara, Igabi, Kubau and Zaria local government areas, the Permanent Secretary of the State’s Ministry of Health, Manya Dogo, confirmed in Kaduna.
Mr. Dogo said three cases were recorded in Birnin Gwari, three in Ikara, two in Igabi and one each in Kubau and Zaria LGAs. This is coming after Kaduna celebrated a three-year free polio period.
“The figure represented 10 per cent of the 70 per cent cases recorded in Nigeria as at last week,” he said.
Blame the nomads
Mr. Dogo attributed the incidents to the influx of migrant nomads from affected neighbouring states.
He said that cases of missed children, cross border migration, and lack of cooperation by some parents during immunisation campaigns have also contributed to the outbreak. To redress the situation, he said government has set up a committee under the Deputy Governor, Mukhtar Yero, to partner with the National Commission for Nomadic Education, and neighbouring states, to identify Fulani settlements and cattle routes for the immunisation.
The Permanent Secretary said September 22 has been fixed for the next round of immunisation across the state. He said the state would organise a border synchronisation campaign with the affected states and the nomads to ensure that no child was missed during the next exercise.
Mr. Dogo said the government has scaled up its routine campaign against the disease to prevent further spread of communicable diseases. He said the measures include intensive public enlightenment, media engagement and the involvement of traditional and religious leaders in the campaign.
Other strategies adopted are the recruitment and deployment of additional medical and health personnel as well as the provision of adequate drugs and vaccines for the exercise. He said the strategies are yielding results as residents are embracing the exercise.
“We are now recording fewer cases of victims and deaths resulting from outbreaks or epidemics of wild polio virus and other killer diseases in the state,’’ Mr. Dogo said.
He commended Governor Patrick Yakowa for his political commitment to the healthcare delivery system and the support of technical partners such as WHO, UNICEF and other NGOs.
He commended the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association and healthcare personnel for their commitment and dedication. Mr. Dogo advised parents to avail their wards of the immunisation, urging neighbouring states to arrest the spread of wild polio virus.
Nigeria achieved 95 per cent reduction of polio cases in 2010, according to statistics, but is one of the few countries worldwide still having incidences of the wild polio virus.