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BMC Public Health. 2018 Dec 13;18(Suppl 4):1308. doi: 10.1186/s12889-018-6184-0.

Profile of polio-compatible cases in Nigeria, 2006-2016.

Author information

World Health Organization, Country Representative Office, Abuja, Nigeria.
National Primary Health Care Development Agency, Abuja, Nigeria.
World Health Organization, Country Representative Office, Abuja, Nigeria.
Global Public Health Solutions, Atlanta, GA, USA.
World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.



The tremendous progress made by Nigeria towards polio eradication has recently suffered a setback with the isolation of circulating vaccine-derived poliovirus (cVDPV) type 2 from environmental samples and confirmation of four wild poliovirus (WPV) cases from acute flaccid paralysis (AFP) cases, with dates of onset of paralysis in July and August 2016. All these viruses were confirmed from the security-challenged northeastern state of Borno. Polio-compatible cases exist in Nigeria, and they indicate surveillance failure. Surveillance, therefore, has to be strengthened for the country to achieve certification. The objective of this paper is to highlight the epidemiological profile and magnitude of polio-compatible cases in Nigeria during the reporting period, as well as immunization and surveillance response activities conducted to close immunity and surveillance gaps.


We conducted a retrospective review of AFP surveillance performance and polio-compatible cases in Nigeria between 2006 and 2016 from the AFP database at the World Health Organization Country Office. We also reviewed and compared key epidemiological features of polio-compatible cases with those of wild poliovirus cases during the reporting period.


The non-polio AFP rate improved from 6.5 in 2006 to 19.5 in 2016. The corresponding figures for stool adequacy rates were 88 and 98%. The total number of polio-compatible cases reported during the reporting period was 888, with the highest number (194) of cases reported in 2006 and the least (24) in 2016. Clusters of polio-compatible cases were reported every year during the reporting period except in 2015. The highest number (65) of polio-compatible cases in clusters was reported in 2006. The key epidemiological features of polio-compatible and wild poliovirus cases were similar.


AFP surveillance performance has improved significantly during the reporting period. Surveillance gaps still existed as shown by the presence of orphan viruses and polio-compatible cases, and these gaps need to be identified and closed to achieve certification.


AFP surveillance; Polio-compatible; Wild poliovirus

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