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Madagascar records new polio cases

New cases of polio have been detected in Madagascar in three localities.In 2018, Madagascar thought it was defeating the crippling…

New cases of polio have been detected in Madagascar in three localities.In 2018, Madagascar thought it was defeating the crippling disease with the boast of a “polio-free country.” Three years later, the country is experiencing a backlash with the appearance of several cases in the east of the country, precisely in the urban communities of Vangaindrano and Mitsinjo and in the south-east of Ampanihy.

 

The Expanded Immunization Programme on (EPI) officials have not given the exact number of people affected but justifies this reappearance by the absence of a vaccination campaign for affected children, according to EPI coordinator, Rivomalala Rakotonavalona.

 

After the detection of several cases in 2015, the country had launched several vaccination campaigns to eradicate the disease and thought it would succeed in 2018. These achievements earned Madagascar the “Polio Free” label from the World Health Organisation (WHO). However, WHO recalled “the importance of maintaining efforts to move towards the eradication of polio on a global scale” at the time.

 

The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has turned child immunisation upside down. Vaccination coverage declined as the government tried to stop the spread of the coronavirus, leaving the country vulnerable to a resurgence of vaccine-preventable “childhood paralysis.”

 

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