Polio Confirmed in Kambia by Health Officials

By Amin Kef (Ranger)

In a joint effort between the Ministry of Health and the National Public Health Agency on March 8, 2024 , health authorities have confirmed the presence of the Polio Virus in Kambia, Northern Sierra Leone. The case, identified after rigorous testing, has raised concerns about the potential spread of the disease within communities.

According to the official statement released on March 8th, 2024, the virus was determined to be vaccine-derived, a rare occurrence which, while less severe than the wild polio virus, still poses a significant risk, particularly in areas with under-immunized populations. Health officials emphasized the importance of swift action to prevent further transmission and potential mutation of the virus.

Sierra Leone’s health authorities are actively engaged in cross-border surveillance and public education campaigns to raise awareness about polio and the necessity of vaccination. Parents and caregivers are urged to ensure that children under the age of five receive recommended vaccinations according to schedule, including protection against polio.

The confirmation of the virus comes as a setback after Sierra Leone, along with other African nations, celebrated a significant milestone in public health in August 2020 when the continent was declared free of the wild poliovirus. The resurgence of the disease highlights the critical need for continued vigilance and immunization efforts.

While Africa had not reported any new cases of the wild polio virus since 2016, Sierra Leone’s last confirmed case dated back to 2010. Since then, the country has made substantial progress in strengthening disease surveillance and immunization campaigns, supported by Government commitment and partnerships with international organizations.

The Ministry of Health remains committed to containing the spread of the virus and protecting the population through coordinated efforts and strategic interventions. However, the recent detection serves as a stark reminder of the ongoing threat posed by infectious diseases and the importance of maintaining high vaccination coverage to safeguard public health.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here