Health Authorities Suspect Cases of Polio in Nimba

SANNIQUELLIE, Nimba – Six suspected cases of polio have been discovered in Nimba, according to county health officials.

Dr. Collins Saa Bowah, Nimba’s county health officer, said six samples of suspected polio disease were collected during the recent polio immunization campaign in Nimba.

Bowah said the samples, which were collected from different communities, have been sent to Monrovia for testing in a laboratory.

He said the children from whom the samples were collected all became paralyzed between July and September of this year, noting that such news is very troubling for Nimba and the country at large, because according to him, Liberia had been certified as a polio-free country.

Dr. Collins Saa Bowah, County Health Officer of Nimba. Photo: Franklin Nehyalor

Earlier this month, Front Page Africa reported that Liberia experienced its last case of the Polio virus in 2010 in Grand Bassa.

The disease, which has no cure, is caused by a highly infectious virus which is spread mainly through fecal matter or bodily fluids such as cough.

The recent Ebola outbreak and the accompanying halt in vaccination campaigns raised concerns among health officials of the potential for resurgence of diseases, such as polio, that primarily affect children.

In neighbouring Guinea, an outbreak erupted in 2015 that is in the last stages of being contained. That proximate outbreak makes Liberia a country at risk of an outbreak, according to the World Health Organization.

Besides Guinea, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Afghanistan are the other countries with recent active cases of polio.

Featured photo by Julien Harneis

Franklin Nehyalor

Franklin has been a reporter, presenter, and producer at Radio Nimba in Sanniquellie since 1997, later serving as the station's deputy news director. Franklin is also the official spokesperson for the Nimba Community Radio Association and the secretary general for the Nimba Health Reporters Network.

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