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Govt woos Hausa, Fulani over polio vaccination

Posted by THE GUARDIAN on 2003/10/27 | Views: 538 |

Govt woos Hausa, Fulani over polio vaccination

THE Hausa-Fulani community in Plateau State has rejected vaccination against polio on the notion that it is an anti-fertility vaccine for family planning.

Predominantly affected by the rejection are people of Wase Local Government Area and some parts of Jos North Council who vehemently kick against vaccinating their children against the disease.

But reacting to the development, the state Governor, Joshua Dariye said those who are against the exercise are just postponing the evil days.

He said those who are rejecting the administering of the vaccines are being misguided, and further advised them to submit their children and wards for the exercise.

People of Angwan Rimi, Angwan Rogo, Gengere, the predominantly Hausa/Fulani Moslems of Jos North Council rejected the exercise on the belief that it could cause infertility.

Plateau State Commissioner of Health, Dr. Patrick Dakum, who confirmed the rejection by Wase and some parts of Jos North, while briefing journalists at the weekend, said that the rejection was a product of misconception by such people.

He advised the people that the exercise was important and as such they should participate in it.

According to Dakum, "their belief is based on the misconception that they do not know exactly what the thing is and they are bound to read anything to it. That it has an anti-fertility effect is not true at all."

Currently, cases of polio are rampant in Nabruk community in Shendam Local Government Area of the state, Dakum disclosed, adding that what is dear to the state government now is taking preventive services.

In his contribution, World Health Organisation (WHO) Consultant based in Zambia, Dr. Adiele Onyeze, disclosed that there are about 3,000 cases of polio in the world.

He said that since 1998 the number of polio cases had dropped, pointing out that five countries - Nigeria, Angola, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan - are the most endemic.

He further stated that of the 3,000 cases of polio world-wide, Africa has about 200 cases.

Onyeze disclosed that Nigeria has the highest cases of polio in the world, adding that sub-type test had shown that Nigeria is not only infecting itself but infecting other neighbouring countries as well.

According to him, 741,000 of the total population of Plateau State are to be vaccinated which represents 20 per cent of the whole population.

On the indifference and apathy reportedly shown by some people in parts of the state, he argued that the vaccines are very safe and efficacious, advising that they be taken without any reservation.

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