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Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire has blamed the re-emerging polio variants in Nigeria on insecurity and COVID-19.

Ehanire who spoke at an anniversary celebration of wild poliovirus eradication in Nigeria, said huge investments and sacrifices were made by government and development partners to eradicate polio.

He said;

“The day may have come too late for those who have been paralysed and those frontline health workers who paid the supreme price for the triumph of eradicating the disease.

“However, for the millions of children who are prevented from the crippling effects of WPV these sacrifices will not go in vain and therefore the significance of commemorating this day.

“The past 3 years have been a mixed bag of events for the country as the impact of COVID-19 affected our health system, and also the emerging insecurity in some parts of the country poses a challenge to the onslaught of the re-emerging variants of the polio viruses (cVPV2) which are remnants in the environment as a result of suboptimal environmental sanitation and can potentially be virulent and affect children who have not been enrolled in the routine immunization system.”

The Minister also said that the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) has been directed “to mount the needed response to deal with these viruses within an integrated framework in order to address other public health challenges including the ongoing COVID-19 vaccination in the country.”

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