From Kemi Yesufu, Abuja
Acting Executive-Director the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) Dr. Emmanuel Odu has stated that the country has not recorded a new case of polio.
Odu at a press briefing in Abuja debunked claims that a two year old boy in Cross Rivers State had been deformed by the disease.
According to him, the NPHCDA came to conclusion that the boy hadn’t been affected by the disease owing to the reports b given by assessment teams sent to the child’s remote village in Odukpani, Cross Rivers State.
A TV new channel has 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 for which he was attended by a local bone- setter at the age of three weeks.
“The boy also had 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 legparalysed 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 twenty four 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 by 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 the commemoration of the 2016 World Polio Day assured that though hope of the country being certified polio-free by the World Health Organisation in 2017 had been dashed by the fresh outbreak, the Federal Government had put needed measures in place to eradicate the disease.
This is as Odu also stressed that his agency will improve on its surveillance saying, “we will continue to search the nooks and crannies of the country for new cases”.