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Number Of Polio Cases In Nigeria Decreases, Some States Still Showing Low Immunizations Rates

The number of polio cases in Nigeria has gone down from 799 in 2008 to 353 this year, according to the country’s National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA), Africa Science News Service reports. The number of children who have never had a polio vaccine has been reduced from 16 percent in 2008 to 8 percent in 2009, NPHCDA Executive Director Mohammed Ali Pate said.

However Pate said there is an “upsurge” in the number of West Polio Virus-3 cases mostly in the north and there are very low immunization rates in some states in the northern part of the country. Pate named several states where less than 10 percent of children receive immunizations by the age of one. “That is not really adequate. We should do better than that,” he said, adding that it is an indication that the routine system is not operating well. “Even though the routine vaccines are supplied by the Federal Government, the money from the states and local governments may not be released to local government primary health care facility to go and collect their vaccines to run the outfits and staff,” he said (Africa Science News Service, 6/21).