Two years after the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) recorded its last case of wild polio virus in Dobi village, Gwagwalada Area Council, a new case of the virus and another suspected case was yesterday recorded in Jahi village, a community in the Abuja Municipal Area Council (AMAC).
The executive secretary, FCT Primary Health Care Development Board, Dr. Rilwanu Mohammed, disclosed this during the monitoring of a mop-up polio immunisation exercise in the area.
He said a case of weakness of limbs in a child of two years and six months, Yusuf Haruna, was reported to the board, and that during investigation in the area, similar symptoms were noticed in another child, prompting the authorities to send faecal samples from the suspected cases to Ibadan for test.
Mohammed stated that in order to ensure that all children in the area, which comprises all villages in Gwarinpa ward, were captured and inoculated against the virus, the board had received about 50,000 doses of vaccine from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) to be used for the two-day mop-up immunisation exercise in the area which commenced yesterday.
He observed that cases of polio in the FCT were from people who migrated to the territory from other places.
"The last case recorded in Dobi was from a migrant farmer from Minna, in Niger State and the one we just got now is also from people who migrated from Katsina State, one of the states with high polio prevalence. This latest case brings the number of reported cases of polio in the country this year to 112; 94 cases of type 1 and 18 cases of type 3 polio virus," he explained.
While noting that the FCT has so far attained about 80 per cent coverage of polio immunisation, Mohammed added that the administration was working out a strategy to carry out immunisation of children under five years in markets and motor parks across the territory, to ensure that all children not captured in routine immunisation would be immunised, even as he said the FCT administration would mobilise law enforcement agencies to arrest all those who reject immunisation in the FCT, forthwith.
State Coordinator, World Health Organisation (WHO), FCT, Dr. Idang Ebong, attributed the upsurge in polio in the FCT to poor routine immunisation and untidy environment.
Ebong lamented that despite the location of a health centre less than 500 metres from the village, the villagers would not bring their children for immunisation against harmful diseases.
Village Head of Jahi community, Alhaji Adamu Dogo, gave the assurance that the traditional institution in the community would give the necessary support to ensure the success of the immunisation exercise in the community. He also commended the FCT administration for efforts to eradicate the virus.