The Ministry of Health in Malawi has declared a polio outbreak after a case was detected in the capital Lilongwe.
This is the first case of wild poliovirus in Africa in more than five years.
According to World Health Organization (WHO) Laboratory analysis, the strain detected in Malawi was linked to one that has been circulating in Pakistan, where it is still endemic.
“As an imported case from Pakistan, this detection does not affect the African region’s wild poliovirus-free certification status,” the WHO said, adding it was taking urgent measures to prevent polio spreading.
In a statement President Chakwera has since declared a National Health Emergency.
“A moment ago, I directed the Minister of Health to declare a National Health Emergency following the confirmation of an imported case of polio in one of our districts.” Reads the statement.
The last polio Case in Malawi was reported in 1992 making it the first case in 30 years. Malawi also obtained a Polio free status in 2005.