The Africa Regional Certification Commission (ARCC) for Poliomyelitis has commended Ghana for maintaining its polio-free status for three more years but has advised the country to intensify surveillance and develop strategies to sustain the gains.

ARCC Chairperson Professor Rose Gana Fomban Leke said at the opening of the commission’s five-day annual meeting here that Ghana had not recorded any case of wild polio virus for at least the past three years, and has received certification granting it a free status from the disease.

She noted, however, that some neighbouring countries still faced threats of the disease which made it crucial for health systems to maintain strong surveillance to prevent any importation.

Prof. Leke said the ARCC meeting was happening at a time when Nigeria, after two years without any case, had recently reported four wild polio virus cases in three regions which were inaccessible because of insecurity in Borno State, resulting in the country being put back into the list of endemic countries.

She said this new development was being regarded as a regional outbreak of the Lake Chad Basin countries involving the Central African Republic (CAR), Chad, Cameroon, Niger and Nigeria.

This, she added, raised a concern of the ARCC members on how to ensure and assess the quality of activities in security-compromised and inaccessible areas.

“This should be a lesson for all countries. Countries should update their preparedness and response plans and implement containment activities,” she said.