Immunization and surveillance help stop polio outbreaks in three African countries

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Oral polio vaccination.PHOTO/Reuters

Kenya, Mozambique and Niger curbed different outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus over the past 24 months which affected 14 children.

Photo courtesy:UNICEF/Claudio Fauvrelle
As part of Mozambique’s polio vaccination campaign, mothers take their babies to receive vaccinations at a mobile unit in Molumbo district.

The World Health Organization the success of those countries in fighting polio suggests the disease can be defeated in other parts of the region.

Although wild poliovirus virus has not been detected in Africa since 2016, roughly 12 countries are currently facing outbreaks of vaccine-derived poliovirus.

“Ending outbreaks in the three countries is proof that response activities along with high-quality immunization campaigns and vigilant disease surveillance can stop the remaining outbreaks in the region”, said Dr. Modjirom Ndoutabe, coordinator of WHO-led polio outbreaks Rapid Response Team for the African Region.

“We are strongly encouraged by this achievement and determined in our efforts to see all types of polio eradicated from the continent. It is a demonstration of the commitment by governments, WHO and our partners to ensure that future generations live free of this debilitating virus”.

 

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