Tuesday, November 13, 2018
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Medics Accuse Nigeria over New Polio Case 

By Divine Ntaryike Jr.

Health authorities in Cameroon’s Far North region are imputing blame on Nigeria for the resurgence in that part of the country of poliomyelitis.  Medics in the regional capital, Maroua recently reported the detection of a wild strain of the paralyzing disease which they believe originated in the western neighbor.

They say the yet-to-be-established rare breed of the polio virus was detected on a patient in the Kolofata health district a couple of weeks ago.  The discovery has chilled a spell of chest-pounding by health officials who bragged they had succeeded in kicking out the crippling ailment in the administrative region that also shares porous borders with Chad to the east.

The finding has sparked fears of a looming propagation of the disease and consequently, prompted the enactment of vaccination drives.  The first round of the local immunization campaign to span two days will be flagged off in Maroua this December 21.  It targets children aged 0 to 5 years old, irrespective of whether or not they have previously received doses of the vaccine. It will be the fifth anti-polio immunization campaign in the region since the start of 2011 and health officials say a door-to-door approach will be adopted.

Concerns over a looming outburst of the disease have generated so much fear that the neighboring Adamawa region (which is yet to report a polio case) has outpaced the Far North region. The regional Governor, Abrahams Enow Egbe flagged off a three-day immunization crusade on Tuesday, December 20 in the Tignere locality.

He emphasized that prevention is better than cure, adding that the operation was designed to block penetration of the disease into the region.  Some 73 health workers have thus been deployed afield and tasked with administering doses of the vaccine to a targeted 23,000 children.  They are also preaching the need for regular hand-washing and the keen respect of other basic hygiene and sanitation rules as additional means of avoiding the disease. 

Meantime, Nigeria is yet to formally react to the indictment it exported the disease to Cameroon.

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