Nigeria: Kano Discovers New Polio Case - First in Three Years

A fresh case of Circulating Polio Virus (CPV) has been discovered in a sewage located at Darmanawa Ward in Tarauni Local Government Area of Kano State.

The new incidence has interrupted a three-year polio-free record of the state.

According to medical experts, the Circulating Polio Virus (CPV) is mostly linked to poor environmental sanitation. Though it cannot cripple a child, it poses a threat of Wild Polio Virus (WPV).

The primary health care coordinator of Tarauni Local Government Area, Nura Haruna, told journalists that the virus was suspected to have emanated from Zaria Local Government in Kaduna State where two cases of CPV were discovered earlier this year.

"Before this discovery in Tarauni LGA, there were two cases recorded in Zaria, so we are suspecting that it is either the affected children travelled down to Kano to spread the disease or the CPV came through the sewage due to poor environmental sanitation in the area, because we have conducted some scientific tests and discovered the CPV inside a sewage in the local government area," Mr Haruna said.

He said following the discovery, all under-five children in the area are at risk of contracting the CPV, hence the state ministry of health and some other stakeholders organised a mop-up immunisation exercise in the area to prevent the spread of the virus.


The coordinator also lamented the rampant cases of non-compliance to polio and routine immunisation in the area, especially at Darmanawa, Hotoro and Daurawa quarters.

Mr Haruna said the elites in the area hardly release their children for immunisation in spite of its importance.

"There are so many elites in Darmanawa, Hotoro and Daurawa wards out of the ten wards at the local government area, surprisingly some of them are medical doctors, police and immigration officers, but they are preventing our workers from accessing their households.

"Sometimes our workers spend an hour in a particular house without seeing anyone attending to them. We need the intervention of relevant authorities to compel them to take the polio immunisation seriously.

"Whether you are elite or not, we need your household to be vaccinated because if we vaccinate nine out of 10 houses, the remaining one will still put the entire community at polio risk," Mr Haruna said.

He said though there are some men who still restrain their wives from presenting their children for immunisation, some of the women who understand the importance of polio immunisation release their children without the consent of their husbands.


Mr Haruna disclosed that in the course of routine monitoring of the ad-hoc staff for the exercise, it was discovered that some of them were compromising the immunisation process by applying indelible ink on fingers of some eligible children without administering the polio vaccine in their mouths, based on pressure by some parents, who had reservation about the exercise.

According to him, considering the priority being accorded to the exercise by the Kano State government, it did not hesitate to sack the affected 12 workers.

"We have been sacking many ad-hoc workers found wanting of compromising the immunisation process and we will not stop doing that until we sanitise the process and the eventual certification of Nigeria polio-free. In fact, we just sacked four teams comprising of three members each among the ad-hoc staff when we investigated and found them wanting," he revealed.

He, however, advised parents to prioritise personal hygiene and environmental sanitation as well as presenting their children for immunisation as at when due to prevent an outbreak of polio pirus in the state.

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