Saturday, February 16, 2013

Nigeria Medical Association warned that insecurity in the country may trigger an explosion of polio virus.


The Nigeria Medical Association has warned that with the spate of insecurity in the country, there may be an explosion of polio virus.
It said the nation still has the highest number of polio cases in the world and insecurity could compound the problem.
The NMA President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, who spoke to our correspondent in an interview, argued that there was no scientific evidence to prove that immunisation against polio could cause infertility.
He added that there was a need to increase health education by the government.
He noted that Nigeria, Pakistan and Afghanistan were the only countries that still had a “despicable level,” which attracted world attention in the global effort to eradicate polio.
Enabulele said, “The fact is that insecurity will certainly lead to an explosion in the number of polio cases within and outside the country. As of 2012, it was globally reported that Nigeria had about 121 cases of polio, which was the highest among the three struggling countries battling with polio.
“It was predicted that by 2013, there would be an increased global push to ensure that the number is substantially reduced or eradicated.
“But with what has happened now, it is clear and evident that if nothing is done to guarantee the safety of health workers who vaccinate children, certainly it will lead to an explosion. It will blossom the number of polio cases not only in areas that are threatened but in the whole country.”
While explaining that polio could be transmitted orally, he said it was easy for people to spread the scourge rapidly because Nigeria was a “highly mobile country” where people travelled from place to place.
He added that since the nation’s borders were porous, there could be inter-country transfer of the scourge.
He called on the security agencies to deploy more personnel in health facilities, saying that health workers were now targets of terrorists, adding that provision of adequate security was the only way to ensure continuous health care service.
Although Enabule admitted that health workers had an ethical obligation to continually render service, he said government also had the obligation to guarantee their security and safety.
The NMA boss said, “Recent developments have thrown spanners in the wheel of the works of health care system in the North; not only in the North but in the entire country. It is clear it could be a cascading event and what affects the North will directly or indirectly affect the South.”
----------My Health Bowl, February 17, 2013
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