Following the outbreak of Polio in Malawi, Kenya has intensified its polio surveillance amid concerns of the spread of the disease to other African countries.
Kenya’s Director-General of Health, Patrick Amoth, said since the country shares borders with Somalia, it has always been on high alert on a potential outbreak.
Last week, the index case was identified on Thursday from a wild poliovirus imported from Pakistan.
Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) considers even a single case of polio as an outbreak.
“The outbreak in Malawi means a lot not only for Kenya but also Africa. Although it is not a source of worry, we have to enhance our surveillance because of our global connectivity. We do not know how many people have come into contact with the genotype in Pakistan,” said Dr. Amoth, adding that they are carrying out environmental analysis of sewer samples in Mombasa and Nairobi.
Any case of wild poliovirus is a significant event, and we will mobilise all resources to support the country’s response,” said Dr Modjirom Ndoutabe, Polio coordinator in the WHO Afro.
Malawi’s polio patient zero is a three-year-old girl paralysed by the disease.
Six years ago was the last wild poliovirus case in Africa, Nigeria to be specific.