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

  • No new cases of wild poliovirus type 1 (WPV1) were reported in the past week.  The total number of WPV1 cases for 2016 remains four and no cases have been reported in 2017.  The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 21 August 2016 in Monguno Local Government Area, Borno.
  • Nigeria continues to implement an emergency response to the detected WPV1 strain and circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus type 2 (cVDPV2) strains affecting the country (last detected in 2016).
  • The recent Lake Chad Technical Advisory Group (TAG) meeting underlined the importance of improving access to trapped populations in Borno, Nigeria as well as extending surveillance and vaccination to the 178 Nigeria-governed islands within Lake Chad.
  • Detection of polio cases in Nigeria underscores the risk posed by low-level undetected transmission. As part of the emergency response, subnational surveillance continues to be strengthened.

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 2017.

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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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