Burundi : authorities declare polio epidemic

Burundi : authorities declare polio epidemic

The infectious disease broke out in the district of Isale in the province of Bujumbura (western Burundi) and in the commercial city of Bujumbura. The Burundian minister in charge of health, Sylvie Nzeyimana, who declared the epidemic underlined that a management unit for this epidemic has been set up. Burundian authorities also plan to organize a vaccination campaign to overcome the pandemic which had never manifested itself in the small East African nation in the past 30 years. INFO SOS Médias Burundi

Minister Nzeyimana announced the manifestation of the poliomyelitis epidemic in Burundi on Friday afternoon.

“On March 13, 2023, the global network of poliomyelitis laboratories confirmed three cases of poliovirus in Burundi”, she announced from the town of Isale in the company of administration authorities and representatives of the WHO (World Health Organization) in particular.

According to Dr. Nzeyimana, one case concerns a four-year-old child who had never received any dose of poliomyelitis vaccination. He is from Isale.

The commercial city also affected

“The analysis of samples from the collection of wastewater from environmental monitoring showed the presence of poliovirus in five samples, three of which came from the sites of the municipality of the north of municipality and two from the central Bujumbura municipality”, she adds.

And she declared the poliomyelitis epidemic, according to international standards.

“In reference to international health regulations of 2005, a single confirmed case of poliomyelitis constitutes an epidemic. Therefore, on the basis of the three confirmed cases, I declare an epidemic of poliomyelitis in Burundi”.

Acute poliomyelitis is a disease responsible for the paralysis of the limbs. It mainly affects children, which has earned it the name “infantile paralysis”. The virus is transmitted by ingestion of contaminated water or food.

Burundian authorities intend to organize a vaccination campaign for children aged 0 to 7 as soon as possible.

According to the WHO, it has been 30 years since the small East African nation declared a polio epidemic.

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