Nigeria: African Nations Step Up Polio Battle as Vaccine Opponents Signal End to Boycott
May 18, 2004
Speaking in Geneva on Monday, Nigeria's health minister said the federal government recently reached agreement with the Kano state government to restart polio vaccinations, signaling an end to a boycott that allowed polio rates in that region to mushroom. Since October, Kano, a heavily Muslim state in northern Nigeria, refused to allow children to be inoculated due to persistent rumors that the vaccines were part of a U.S.-led plot to spread HIV/AIDS or infertility among Muslims. UN and Nigerian federal officials vigorously rejected claims the vaccine was unsafe, pointing to tests conducted in Nigeria and abroad. UN officials said the boycott has endangered global efforts to eradicate polio. After smallpox, polio would be only the second disease to be wiped out by mankind.Adapted from:
05.17.04; Glenn McKenzie
This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.