Status: has never stopped circulation of indigenous wild poliovirus and is currently affected by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2.

Nigeria is one of only three countries in the world with ongoing wild poliovirus transmission, alongside Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The country is also affected by circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) outbreaks.

The Global Polio Eradication Initiative is focused on strengthening surveillance to find and respond to the virus, wherever it emerges, and closing immunity gaps to protect the population and stop the virus from circulating. The programme is also committed to advocating for sustained political commitment and ensuring necessary financial resources and technical support for polio eradication at all levels.

Polio this week in Nigeria

  • No new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) were reported in the past week.
  • The total number of WPV1 cases for 2016 is four and no cases have been reported in 2017 or 2018. The most recent WPV1 case (by date of onset) was reported in Monguno Local Government Area, Borno State, with onset on 21 August 2016.
  • Circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) is confirmed in Jigawa state. cVDPV2 has been isolated from environmental samples and one AFP case with onset of paralysis on 15 April.
  • Since confirmation of cVDPV2 in Nigeria, the country has conducted additional acute flaccid paralysis surveillance strengthening activities including enhanced active surveillance visits, and community sampling. The programme has also carried out extensive search for type 2 containing vaccines (tOPV/mOPV2) in the areas surrounding where the virus was detected.
  • The GPEI is working with Regional and country counterparts and partners to supporting the local public health authorities to conduct outbreak response. This includes the implementation of two rounds of mOPV2 vaccination in May and June covering part of Jigawa, Gombe, Bauchi and Sokoto.

Stopping polio in Nigeria

Following the detection of wild poliovirus in northern Nigeria in 2016 for the first time in two years, Nigeria and neighbouring countries in the Lake Chad Basin (Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad and Niger) have held multiple vaccination campaigns to raise population immunity and prevent spread of the virus. Activities in the area continue to focus on reaching every child with vaccines, especially in identifying and vaccinating missed children and closing immunity gaps in populations that have previously been inaccessible. Countries are also working to increase surveillance efforts.

A range of innovative strategies are being used to reach children in high-risk areas, including opportunistic campaigns that are run whenever security permits, market vaccination, cross-border points and outreach to nomads.

International Health Regulations

Nigeria is classified by the International Health Regulations (IHR) as a state infected with WPV1, cVDPV1 or cVDPV3 with potential risk of international spread, and as a state infected with cVDPV2 with potential risk of international spread.  It is therefore subject to temporary recommendations as of April 2018.

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Key at-risk: no longer poliovirus-infected, but at high risk of outbreaks
Outbreak: has stopped indigenous WPV circulation but affected by outbreak of imported WPV or circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus
Endemic: has never stopped indigenous wild poliovirus (WPV) circulation

Travel advice

WHO’s International Travel and Health recommends that all travellers to polio-affected areas be fully vaccinated against polio. Residents (and visitors for more than 4 weeks) from infected areas should receive an additional dose of OPV or inactivated polio vaccine (IPV) within 4 weeks to 12 months of travel.

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