“I wish to say that the reported case of polio in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River is not true.
“We just had our child and maternal health week and that area in question was fully covered,’’ Dr Inyang Asibong, the state Commissioner for Health, told newsmen on Wednesday in Calabar.
Asibong said that state epidemiologists were investigating the case, adding that a sample of the child had been taken to a laboratory in Ibadan for testing.
Also, Dr Betta Edu, Director-General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Development Agency, said that Cross River is polio free.
Edu told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the affected child under investigation was born with a deformity known as talipes equinovarus.
Edu said she personally carried out a physical examination of the child and found that he was born with talipes equinovarus.
She explained that a child could be born with telipes equinovarus which is a congenital deformity of the foot and ankle.
“I want to clearly debunk that story; there is no case of polio in Cross River.
“From the physical examination which I did at Ekpene Eki yesterday, what that child has is clinical manifestation of talipes Equinovarus.
“From the history given by the parents, that child was born with a congenital malformation: Polio is not a diagnosis made clinically.
“Polio is a laboratory diagnosis and so seeing a child that has a congenital malformation and saying it is a case of polio does not add up,’’ she said.
The DG said that State Primary Healthcare Agency, in conjunction with the National Primary Healthcare Agency, would soon commence a local survey with a view to vaccinate more children in the area.
“The mother of the baby said she noticed that something was wrong with the child’s leg at birth, but she thought that the curving of the leg was the normal.
“When the child was about three to four months, the parents noticed that one leg was different from the other.
“The mother also said that one leg was straight while the other was curve at the ankle.
“The child’s parents took him to a bone setter who at some point tried to intervene but did not correct that deformity and so they left the child’’, she said.