From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Acting Executive-Director the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Dr. Emmanuel Odu said the country has not recorded a new case of polio.
Odu, at a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, debunked claims that a two-year-old boy in Cross River State had been deformed by the disease.
According to him, the NPHCDA came to conclusion that the boy was not affected by the disease based on reports given by assessment teams sent to Odukpani, the child’s village in Cross River.
A television station had earlier reported a suspected case of polio in the South South state.
“The features found on this child were not consistent with those of poliomyelitis.
“The two-year-old male child had a history of deformity, a twisted right foot, which was observed at birth, which was attended to by a local bone- setter when he was three weeks.
“The boy had also taken, at least, six doses of polio vaccine since birth and had no recent fevers.
“Assessors found the boy had a clubfoot in his right leg, a condition in which one or both feet are twisted into an abnormal position, usually at birth.
“By contrast, a leg paralysed by polio is flaccid—loose, weak, flabby and soft.
“There is no case of polio paralysis in Cross River and across the country, except for those we encountered in August,” Odu concluded.
After 24 months of not recording a case of the wild polio virus in the country, three children were confirmed to have been paralysed by the disease in Borno State, in August 2016.
The cases were traced to Gwoza, Jere and Monguno local government areas once controlled by Boko Haram.
Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole had, during commemoration of the 2016 World Polio Day, assured that although hope of the country being certified polio-free by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2017 had been dashed by the fresh outbreak, the Federal Government has put measures in place to eradicate the disease.
This was as Odu also stressed that his agency would improve on surveillance.
“We will continue to search the nooks and crannies of the country for new cases,” he said.