Polio drive records low turnout in Nigeria

Polio drive records low turnout in Nigeria

Postby Richard Akindele » Tue Jul 04, 2006 5:11 pm

BADUME, Nigeria: Habibu Garba and his five colleagues are not happy. Posted for three days to a vaccination centre, under a neem tree sheltering them from blazing tropical sun, they have only vaccinated 32 children against poliovirus.

The small farming village of Badume, 15km north of Kano, has recorded a very low turnout of children, like the rest of the area.
“We have not immunised as much children as we expected because people here only take their children to hospital when they are sick, they do not mind to take them for any vaccination�, Garba, said as he adjusted the cover of a polio kit resting on a small wooden bench.

“We need to meet them in their homes, which we are about to start today. It is not that they reject the vaccines, it is just that they don’t have the culture of bringing their children for immunisation�, he explained.

“I will allow them to immunise my three children if they come to my home as they did some months ago�, said Baballe Adamu, a 47-year old farmer.

The National Programme on Immunisation (NPI) in collaboration with UN health agencies on Thursday started a five-day immunisation campaign tagged “Immunisation Plus� of about 10mn children under five in 11 northern states with high prevalence of polio cases.

The NPI, with technical assistance from WHO and Unicef, hopes to stamp out polio from Nigeria by the end of 2007.

The five-day campaign is also immunising under-fives against measles, diphtheria, pertusis and tetanus, tagged “The Plus� in addition to the administration of polio vaccine.

“We are recording low turn-out at the vaccination sites�, Mahmud Mustapha, NPI Kano state Zonal co-ordinator said.

The low turnout compared to the first round of vaccinations in May is partly because the state and local government authorities did not supply the expected doses plus parents are worried about the pains and fever associated with the “The Plus�, he said.

For two days health workers administered polio vaccines at fixed posts in thousands of wards across the 11 mainly Muslim states.
However on Saturday the health workers started a house-to-house immunisation to ensure that they reach the 10mn children the NPI intends to immunise.

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, has the most polio cases in the world, accounting for 83% of global Poliovirus cases and 95% of all polio cases in Africa, according to a UN World Health Organisation report.

Some northern states halted the polio immunisation drive for 11 months in 2004 and 2005 when Muslim clerics claimed the vaccine was laced with substances that could render girls infertile as part of US-led western plot to depopulate Africa.

Kano, which was the first state to suspend polio vaccination has recorded 213 of the 501 polio cases in Nigeria this year, according to NPI statistics. – AFP
Richard Akindele
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Nigeria has 83% of the Polio cases in the world

Postby Richard Akindele » Wed Jul 05, 2006 3:10 pm

The five-day polio immunization campaign in 11 polio-endemic states in northern Nigeria ended with health officials hailing its success despite concerns about low turnout.
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Local health authorities in collaboration with the UN on Thursday launched the "Immunization Plus" campaign to immunize 10 million, with the aim of kicking polio out of the country by the end of 2007.
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"We are still collating the figures and it will take us up to the end of the week to assemble all the figures and analyze success and failure areas," said Mahmud Mustapha, Kano Zonal coordinator of the National Programme on Immunization (NPI).
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"We covered a lot of ground with the house-to-house campaign which compensated for the low turnout ...

"After collating the data, we will take a review of the campaign and pick out areas where we did not record much success and carry out a mop-up exercise."
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Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa with some 130 million people, has the largest polio problem in the world. It accounts for 83 percent the global poliovirus and 95 percent of polio cases in Africa, according to the UN World Health Organisation.
.
Some northern states halted the polio immunization drive for 11 months in 2004 and 2005 when radical muslim clerics claimed polio vaccine was laced with substances that could render girls infertile as part of US-led plot to depopulate Africa.
Richard Akindele
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Posts: 1120
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 10:33 pm
Location: USA


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