Polio: WHO advises Africa to improve on quality surveillance system

Polio: WHO advises Africa to improve on quality surveillance system

The World Health Organization, WHO, has called on the African continent to put quality surveillance systems in place to prevent a resurgence of the wild polio virus in the continent.

READ ALSO: Polio Outbreak: Immunization Takes off In Plateau state
WHO Regional Immunization Advisor in Africa, Dr.

Richard Mihigo, gave the advice in Abuja while speaking on a newly discovered case of wild polio in Malawi.

He said that the possibility that a virus that had been driven out of the African continent could again find its way back, raises concerns.

He also said that the Polio outbreak in Malawi was imported and the Malawi polio case raises concerns the virus could re emerge in the region.

“It’s not an indigenous world polio virus in Malawi, so for Nigeria, but also for Africa, It’s important that we continue to tighten the surveillance system, but also to continue to increase coverage for the routine Immunization vaccination so that the new cohorts of children that are born are also protected against any type of imported infection,” he advised.

He also explained that it was important for Africans to know that the imported case of polio in Malawi would not affect their polio certification by the WHO.

“ It’s clearly not an indigenous virus that was circulating in that country.

It’s important to highlight that the last case of for wild polio virus in Malawi was in 1992, almost 30 years.

So they have maintained a very good routine immunization.

This is also a good illustration of a good quality surveillance system, if improved, it can pick up any case, wherever it happens,”he added.


Mihigo, who is one of the Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance’s team, visiting Nigeria also assess the progress on the implementation of routine immunization, Polio and also the progress on COVID-19 vaccination, said that the WHO have data that is being analyzed in the laboratory to find out that the case was imported.

It should be recalled that a case of a 3-year-old girl who lives on the outskirts of the capital, Lilongwe who was paralyzed on Nov.

19 showed that she was infected with a type 1 wild polio virus.

Polio: WHO advises Africa to improve on quality surveillance system

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