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Despite polio free status, Cameroon to intensify vaccination

Aichata Maiga, 4 years old and displaced from Gao, receives a polio vaccination from a community health agent supported by UNICEF in Segou, Mali on November 26th, 2012.

Cameroon needs to maintain the high levels of epidemiological surveillance and vaccination despite attaining a polio-free status, the World Health Organisation, WHO has recommended.

The WHO made the recommendation on Thursday, June 18 as Cameroon acquired the status a “country free of Poliomelytis”.

Cameroon obtained the status following the 25 Annual Convention of the African Regional Commission for the Certification of Poliomyelitis Eradication, ARCC held by video conference last week.

“I am particularly happy to announce that Cameroon has proudly been certified as a polio-free country. Bravo to the whole team led by Pr Tetaye and to all those who worked for this great victory. Well done again !!! but this is only the beginning of the good news,” the Minister of Public Health tweeted.

The new status is as a result of a robust vaccination campaign across the country last year following the detection of four cases in the Far North Region.

Thus, the WHO recommends the government continues with its vaccination scheme as well as epidemiological surveillance, to avoid plunging into the 2009 scenario when the country was polio-free but recorded a few cases between 2013 and 2014.

According to the WHO, poliomyelitis is a highly infectious viral disease that largely affects children under 5 years of age. The virus is transmitted by person-to-person spread mainly through the faecal-oral route or, less frequently, by a common vehicle like contaminated water or food and multiplies in the intestine, from where it can invade the nervous system and cause paralysis.

Published on 05.05.2023

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