Zamfara State has recorded 21 cases of poliovirus type 2 (CVDPV2) from January to date which experts blamed on the security challenges affecting the state.
This was disclosed by the chairman, Northern Traditional Leaders Committee on Primary Health Care, His Royal Highness Samaila Mera, the Emir of Argungu, at a one day meeting with traditional leaders of totally inaccessible communities in Zamfara State, held in Gusau on Tuesday.
According to him, the poliovirus type 2 which began from Zamfara State has already affected 50 children in the country out of which 21 cases were recorded in the state, saying that the state has affected 26 states in the country as well as 29 other African countries.
According to him: “Due to the security challenges, the state has the highest number of polio cases in the country because of the inaccessibility of most of the rural areas.
“The devastating security situation in the state has made access to many communities and children difficult or impossible.
“It has also created a risk of outbreak of vaccine-preventable diseases especially the mutated vaccine-derive poliovirus. For this reason, the state has the highest burden of the disease in the country.”
The Emir explained further that, following detailed discissions of the report from Zamfara, the meeting noted that similar situations also exist in Sokoto, Kebbi, Katsina, Kaduna and Niger states.
He stressed that, the meeting was aimed at finding out the number of places that were not accessible due to insecurity.
In a closing remarks, the executive director and the chief executive officer of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Dr Faisal Shuaibu said the aim of the meeting was to find ways of stopping the transmission of the circulating variant of poliovirus type 2 by December this year.
He said, the agency would try to reach out to all the children in the state for polio vaccination no matter the security challenges.
“We must strengthen partnership with security agencies to create safe corridors of our health care workers,” he said.