A pivotal year for polio eradication efforts in northern Nigeria – GPEI

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Northern Nigeria is one of the key regions holding the key to a polio-free world.

A child receiving life-saving polio treatment. ©WHO

A key priority for 2023 is to end the transmission of both wild and variant polio globally. most important regions Children are most at risk of encountering and spreading the virus, accounting for 90% of new polio cases worldwide in 2022. Northern Nigeria is now one of seven sub-national regions that hold the key to a polio-free world. .

Nigeria stepped up immunization and surveillance efforts with positive results in 2022. Isolates from the Jigawa lineage, the country’s main historical route of transmission, responsible for most cases and responsible for international spread to many of West Africa’s neighboring countries, have not been detected since February. not. 2022. He decreased from 1028 cases on 31 December 2021 to 168 cases on 31 December 2022. As a result, the virus is now largely confined to her two provinces in the northwestern part of the country, namely Sokoto and Zamfara. This is a golden opportunity for Nigeria to stop transmission by his December 2023, said the Expert Review Panel on Polio Eradication and Routine Immunization, an independent technical group advising the country on polio eradication efforts. Association (ERC) said:

In February 2023, the ERC will convene its 39th meeting in Nigeria with the aim of halting transmission of variant 2 polio and, together with the entire African region, maintaining certified status free of endemic wild poliovirus. made a recommendation. Led by the Department of Health’s National Primary Health Care Development Authority and supported by GPEI partners, Nigerian civil society, and Rotarians across the country, increased efforts are being made to fully implement the National Polio Emergency Action Plan (NPEAP). I’m here.

The country will develop a comprehensive national policy to address the risks of all poliovirus types, within the context of the political transition process, the impact of COVID, to ensure that Nigeria and the region as a whole maintain their certified status. Developed the Polio Emergency Action Plan (NPEAP). 19 addresses concerns about the growing insecurity affecting the public health system and economy, and coverage of surveillance and vaccination. All ERC recommendations aim to align the NPEAP with the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) polio eradication strategy for 2022-2026.

Marking fingers with indelible ink is an important part of polio immunization efforts. ©WHO/Nigeria
Marking fingers with indelible ink is an important part of polio immunization efforts. ©WHO/Nigeria

The ERC notes that the proposed action for 2023 will be driven by three key enablers: global stockpiles of novel oral polio vaccine (nOPV2) and bivalent oral polio vaccine (bOPV); and a smooth political transition to drive political influence. Commitment at the local level. Given the impact of variant type 2 polioviruses in the last few years, there should be limited room for satisfaction to reach the finish line of cessation of these strains. The ERC has therefore called on all partners to support his NPEAP implementation towards 2023.

The conference also highlighted some of the achievements made in the fight against polio in Nigeria. The conference also highlighted some of the achievements made in the fight against polio in Nigeria. In 2022, variant type 2 poliovirus cases fell by 84% from his, down from his 415 cases in 2021 to his 48 cases in 2022. In particular, he believes that the last quarter of 2022 will see improvements in the quality of Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIA) and the closing of monitoring gaps at the local level. Routine immunization (RI) coverage also improved from 33% in 2016 to 57% in 2022, and COVID-19 vaccination was also optimized to improve demand creation and delivery of other essential immunization vaccines it was done.

The ERC will fully implement the National Polio Emergency Action Plan, including strengthening surveillance, reducing risks from inaccessibility and insecurity, building more resilient routine immunization programs, ensuring robust vaccine management, and defending polio. made recommendations in nine thematic areas for – Free Nigeria.

In conclusion, 2023 is a critical year for polio eradication activities in northern Nigeria and other areas most critical for poliovirus transmission. The international community must continue to support these efforts to ensure that no child is left behind so we can ultimately achieve a polio-free world.

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