Sabah vows to avert polio outbreak

(AFP pic)

KOTA KINABALU: The Sabah government today vowed to take whatever measures  necessary to prevent an outbreak of polio in the state, following news that a three-month-old baby from Tuaran had contracted the disease in the first case reported in nearly three decades.

Chief Minister Shafie Apdal said he had already given instructions to state Health and Wellbeing Minister Frankie Phoon.

“I’m not going to accuse anyone, but there may still be families who refuse to immunise their children out of fear or worry,” he told reporters after an event here today.

Malaysia was declared polio-free in 2000, after reporting its last known case of the disease in 1992. The resurgence of the disease comes just months after the Philippines reported its first cases of polio since 1993 in September.

Shafie said the situation is under control and assured that the state health ministry would do its best to quickly address the issue.

He said efforts would be focused first and foremost on saving lives, with clean-ups of high-risk areas second on the agenda.