BauchiWHILE Nigeria was celebrating the absence of the polio virus, the type-2 of the virus has been reportedly discovered in Gwallaga area of Bauchi metropolis.
The discovery was made public by the Bauchi State Coordinator of the World Health Organization (WHO), Dr Adamu Ningi, during a meeting with the State Chairman, Social Mobilisation on Immunisation who is also the Emir of Dass, Usman Othman as well as the Chairman of the State Council of Traditional Rulers and the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu on Friday.
Adamu Ningi said that the samples were collected from various locations on a monthly basis and it has been discovered that the poliomalyatis virus type-2 was found at Gwallaga mosque area linking which is linking three wards of Makama B, Hardo/Dan Iya and Dankade in Bauchi LGA.
The WHO Coordinator who was represented by the State Coordinator, Dr Khalid Abubakar, attributed the new strain to non-compliance to immunisation schedules saying, “In Bauchi LGA, only 52 per cent of children are fully immunised, 29 per cent don’t complete immunisation doses while 19 per cent have never been immunised”.
The WHO Coordinator added that “the latest strain of the virus is from isolated environmental samples collected from Gwallaga mosque area, Obunna Royal Hotel refuse site, Shafa bridge and FGGC drainage. The circulating vaccine derived polio virus is linked to the one earlier discovered in Hadejia, Jigawa State”.
In his address, the UNICEF Lead Communication Officer, Dr Shakhawar Hossain, said that intense campaigns must be mounted across the while traditional leaders should be on ground to answer key questions on polio immunisation.
While also speaking at the meeting, the state Chairman, Social Mobilisation on Immunisation, Bilyaminu Usman Othman said that Bauchi state has been without any reported case of polio for over five years now.
Bilyaminu Othman however regretted that it was unfortunate to record a new case of the virus in the state despite efforts to prevent its resurgence from reported cases in Yobe and Jigawa states.
He further noted that immunisation teams failed to report non-compliance cases in the past to the relevant authorities while supervision has been very poor saying that the meeting was designed to engage the traditional institution and seek ways to contain the virus before it becomes endemic.
According to him, since the detection of the virus, WHO, UNICEF, the state government and traditional leaders have intensified efforts to check its spread.
In his own remarks, the Emir of Bauchi, Rilwanu Suleiman Adamu emphasised the need for ward heads to always accompany house-to-house immunisation teams during immunisation plus days to avoid non-compliance and report extreme cases to appropriate authorities for prompt action.
While promising to support any measure aimed at eradicating the virus in Bauchi Emirate, the Emir charged the government and the general public to intensify environmental sanitation and close supervision at all levels.