Tanzania Issues Alert as Polio Outbreak Threatens

Health authorities in Tanzania over the weekend issued an alert over the threat of polio outbreak.

The alert followed a reported case of polio outbreak in neighboring Malawi on Feb. 17 involving a child in the country’s capital, Lilongwe.

According to a statement by the Ministry of Health, the Malawi polio case was the first to be reported in Africa in five years. In August 2020, polio was declared eliminated on the African continent.

Chief Medical Officer in Tanzania’s Ministry of Health, Aifello Sichalwe said Tanzania is closely monitoring and assessing the situation in the Songwe, Mbeya and Ruvuma regions that border with Malawi.

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“The government is strengthening vaccination against polio and raising awareness on the virus through the media and health centers”, he added.

Polio is a disabling and life-threatening infectious disease caused by the poliovirus that spreads from person to person. It can infect a person’s spinal cord and cause paralysis.

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