Wild Polio: Africa certification for eradication of poliovirus infectious disease don land – Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroon dey free!

Wild Polio

AFP
Polio can only be prevented through immunisation

One independent panel, wey World Health Organisation set up don declare say Nigeria, Ghana, Cameroonand di whole of Africa don dey free from wild polio.

Di independent body, Africa Regional Certification Commission formally announce di eradication of poliovirus infectious disease from Africa on Tuesday.

Polio usually dey affects children under five, sometimes e dey lead to irreversible paralysis. Death fit later happun wen breathing muscles dey affected.

Twenty-five years ago, di virus paralyse thousands of children inside Africa. Now, di disease dey for only Afghanistan and Pakistan.

No cure dey for di disease but di polio vaccine dey protect children for life.

Nigeria na di last African kontri wey dem declare free from wild polio, afta dem bin account for more than half of all global cases less than ten years ago.


Di vaccination campaign inside Nigeria involve huge effort to reach hidden and dangerous places under threat from militant violence and some health workers even die for di process.

Wetin be polio and e don comot patapata for Africa?

Polio na virus wey dey spreads from pesin to pesin, usually through contaminated water. E fit lead to paralysis by attacking di nervous system.

Two out of three strains of wild polio virus na im don vamose from di world patapata. On Tuesday, dem declare Africa free of di last remaining strain of wild poliovirus.

More than 95% of Africa’s population don get immunisation. Dis na one of di conditions wey di Africa Regional Certification Commission set before declaring di continent free from wild polio.

Wild Polio

BBC
Kontris with Polio cases.

Now only di vaccine-derived polio virus remain for Africa with 177 cases wey dem don identify dis year.

Dis na rare form of di virus wey dey change from di oral polio vaccine and fit then spread to under-immunised communities.

World Health Organization (WHO) don identify some number of these cases inside Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic and Angola.

How Africa take comot wild polio patapata?

WILD POLIO

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Dem develop polio vaccine for 1952

Without any cure, dem develop one vaccine for 1952 and na Dr Jonas Salk develop am. Dis make pipo get hope say children fit dey protected from di disease. For 1961, Albert Sabin lead di oral polio vaccine wey dem don dey use for most national immunisation programmes around di world.

For 1996 poliovirus paralyse more than 75,000 children across di continent – everi kontri dey affected.

Dat year Nelson Mandela launch di “Kick Polio Out of Africa” programme, gada millions of health workers wey go village-to-village to hand-deliver vaccines.

Pipo wey support dis program na Coalition of groups including Rotary International wey bin don spearhead di polio vaccination drive from 1980s.

Since 199, billions of oral polio vaccines na don dey provided, and dis prevent about 1.8 million cases of wild poliovirus.

Wetn be di challenges?

Di last communities wey dey at risk of polio dey live inside some of di most difficult places to deliver immunisation campaigns.

Nigeria na di last kontri for Africa wey bin report case of wild polio – Dat na for Borno state inside North-east, Nigeria wey also be di epicentre of Boko Haram insurrection, for 2016.

At dat time na frustrating set-back as di kontri don make huge progress and don go two years without any cases wey dem identify.

Outside Nigeria, di last place wey dem don see case of polio na for Puntland region of Somalia for 2014.

Conflict with di Islamist militant group Boko Haram don make parts of Nigeria difficult to reach, Borno state in particular.

More than two million pipo don dey displace sake of di fighting. Frontline workers, 95% of dem women, manage to go areas of conflict like Lake Chad by boat and deliver vaccines to remote communities.

Widespread rumours and misinformation about di vaccine don also slow down immunisation effort.

For 2003, Kano and some oda northern states suspend immunisations afta reports by Muslim religious leaders wey say di vaccine dey contaminated with one anti-fertility agent as part of American plot to make Muslim women infertile. Laboratory tests wey Nigerian scientists find out di accusation no be true.

Vaccine campaigns resume di following year, but di rumours still continue. For 2013 nine female polio vaccinators na im dem kill for two shootings weydem believe say na Boko Haram do am for one health centres inside Kano.

E don take plenti years to achieve eradication and overcome suspicion around di vaccine.

How polio survivors make tins difference

Winning di trust of communities na im be di koko

Misbahu Lawan Didi, president of di Nigerian Polio Survivors Association, say di role of survivors dey very important to persuade pipo to accept di campaign.

Misbahu Lawan Didi

BBC
Misbahu Lawan Didi don work hard to persuade parents wey get doubt to allow dia children to get di vaccine

“Many reject di polio vaccine, but dem see how much we struggle to reach dem, sometimes crawling large distances, to speak to dem. We ask dem: ‘You no think say e dey important for you to protect your child not to be like us?'”

From polio survivors, to traditional and religious leaders, school teachers, parents, volunteers and health workers, huge coalition develop to defeat polio. Working togeda dem don travel go remote communities to immunise children.

How serious polio dey?

Polio, or poliomyelitis, mainly dey affect children wey dey under five.

First symptoms include fever, fatigue, headache, vomiting, stiffness of di neck and pains inside di limbs. E dey also enta di nervous system and fit cause total paralysis in a matter of hours.

One in 200 infections dey lead to irreversible paralysis. Among those wey dey paralyse, 5% to 10% of pipo die wen dia breathing muscles just dey one place and no move

Wild polio fit return back?

Polio na disease wey dey easy to import enta anoda kontri wey dey polio free and from dia e fit spread quick-quick among under-immunised populations.

Dis happen for Angola, wey be say upon plenti years of civil war, defeat polio for 2001.

Di kontri remain free from polio for four years until 2005 wey e be like some number of cases come from outside di kontri.

WHO say e dey important for kontries to remain vigilant and avoid complacency until dem don pursue polio patapata from di world.

If dem let down dia defence by failing to vaccinate, then wild polio fit once again begin to spread quickly.

For all types of polio to comot patapata, including vaccine-derived polio, vaccination effort go need to continue alongside surveillance, to protect children make di disease no paralysed dem in future.

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