Polio spread in Cameroon a concern: WHO expert

Global News

The Canadian official who heads the WHO’s polio eradication effort says of the many challenges facing the quarter-century-old program, evidence of polio in Cameroon – which borders on the troubled Central African Republic – is currently one of the most concerning.

The polio eradication campaign has faced a number of significant setbacks in the past year or so, with outbreaks in the Horn of Africa – Somalia, Kenya and Ethiopia – as well as war-torn Syria.

But of the ongoing outbreaks, Dr. Bruce Aylward said the situation in Cameroon is the one which worries him the most at the moment, listing a number of reasons.

Analysis of polioviruses from Cameroon suggests they have been circulating unchecked and undetected for at least a couple of years. Several recent nationwide vaccination campaigns have not appeared to halt the spread. And viruses from Cameroon have spread to neighbouring Equatorial Guinea.

READ MORE: Polio-like…

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