Nigeria

 
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

  • Four new cases of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) cases were reported this week, all from Katsina state with onset of paralysis ranging from 26 September to 7 October.
  • No new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) were reported. The most recently-detected WPV1 case, from Borno state, had onset of paralysis on 21 August 2016.
  • The 36th Expert Review Committee for Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization (ERC), the independent technical advisory group in the country, met in Abuja on 29-30 October to review the evolving epidemiology and programmatic implications.  The group concluded:  Nigeria must maintain momentum by focusing on the remaining inaccessible areas through high quality (above 90% coverage) Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIAs) to prevent cVDPV2 outbreaks and reach the last remaining 70,000 children in Borno.
  • The country continues to be affected by two separate cVDPV2 outbreaks, the first centered in Jigawa state, and the second in Sokoto state.
  • In response to cVDPV2 detection, the country continues to conduct acute flaccid paralysis surveillance strengthening activities including enhanced active surveillance visits and community sampling. The programme has also carried out an extensive search for type 2 containing vaccines (tOPV/mOPV2) in the areas surrounding where the virus is detected.
  • At the same time, outbreak response to WPV1 continues, including efforts to address surveillance and immunity gaps in parts of Borno state.
  • Read our Nigeria country page to see information on surveillance and vaccination campaigns.

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 August 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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