‘Polio Outbreak in Nigeria, Public Health Emergency for the Lake Chad Basin’


Paul Obi in Abuja with agency report

The Ministers of Health of the Member States of the Lake Chad Basin have declared that the recent Polio outbreak in Nigeria remained a public health emergency not only for Nigeria but for all the countries of Lake Chad Basin.

This was contained in a document signed by the Ministers of Health from the Lake Chad Basin Countries which include Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Central Africa Republic and Cameroon during the 66th session of the World Health Organisation Regional Committee for the African Region, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The declaration requested Nigeria and other member States to fully implement coordinated outbreak response in order to quickly prevent the spread of the outbreak to other countries.

The Member States expressed “the need to extend support to the response by including political advocacy and community engagement at all levels, this will lead to a successful coordination and implementation of harmonised polio vaccination activities across the countries of the Lake Chad Sub-region.”

According to member states, “given the challenging security situation in the region, the Lake Chad Basin Members sought the support of the multi-national military task force to provide adequate security, safety and facilitation for the vaccination process.”

Member States were also urged to provide additional political, financial and technical support for the regional emergency response.

The Lake Chad Countries Member States called on World Health Organisation (WHO), Regional Director and other partners to continue with technical and financial support to accelerate eradication of poliomyelitis in the region.