NAIROBI (Halbeeg News) – Officials from Somalia, Kenya and World Health Organization’s Polio Technical Advisory Group (TAG) will today hold a meeting in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi to assess progress made in ending outbreaks of polio-virus in both countries.
According to Capital News, an online media based in Nairobi, the meeting will also review Uganda, Tanzania, Djibouti, South Sudan, Yemen, and Sudan to establish the readiness of respective countries to tackle polio outbreak.
The participants of the meeting organized by 18th TAG will discuss that polio outbreak in Somalia last year resulted into the paralysis of several children in the Horn of Africa nation, a situation where the global health agency wants to bring under control.
WHO Representative Dr Rudi Eggers stated that a virus found in Eastleigh in Nairobi was linked to polio-virus samples tested in Mogadishu in October-November last year, and January this year.
“The emergence of the vaccine-derived poliovirus in Southern Somalia in 2017 and in the informal settlements of Nairobi in Eastleigh in 2018 is a confirmation that the polio threat is real and the virus continues to circulate undetected in the sub-region,” Eggers said.
Eggers noted the progress made in fighting cholera with the number of children paralyzed as a result of cholera declining from 350,000 annually in 1988 to only 22 in 2017.
“Only 1 per cent is left to totally eradicate the disease and we can do this by vaccinating children with the two drops of the vaccine,” he said.
Some parts of Kenya have also been reported to be in danger after a vaccine-derived poliovirus was traced in a sewage water sample in April last year.
“It also emphasizes the importance of population movements between the countries and the need to address polio eradication activities as a sub-region, not only in a single country like Kenya,” the regional WHO chief said.