In Cameroon, in the far north of the country, a confirmed case of polio has been reported to the Ministry of Health. The last case of Polio that Cameroon saw was four year prior to this case and until now the country was deemed polio free.
The health Ministry spoke of the occurrence of a new outbreak of polio after the confirmation of a case of polio virus of type 2 found in samples from the environment in Mada. Mada is a border area with Chad and Nigeria, located in the far north.
According to the government, the discovery of this case is a public health emergency. The authorities have announced that they have taken the necessary measures, including the organization of a reactive vaccination campaign. The objective of the campaign is to stop the transmission of the virus to the population throughout the country within the next 90 days.
Refusal of vaccination not helping
Polio, which can be prevented by a vaccine, is an infectious disease caused by a virus that can enter the nervous system within hours and cause irreversible paralysis. It mainly affects young children.
According to the Ministry, Cameroon was declared polio-free in 2015. “We were a little surprised when we were very close to achieving our goals in the fight against polio”, said a spokesperson from the health ministry. The problem is that there are many cross-border movements of the population in this area and the facts that vaccines are refused sometimes does not help.