Saturday, August 09, 2003

polio fight hits hurdle in Nigeria

A muslim leader in northern Nigeria is calling for a stop to polio vaccinations because he says it may contain anti-fertility substances.

The leader of the Supreme Council for Shariah in Nigeria, Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, told reporters that the WHO and other organizations have been trying to reduce the population of people in developing countries for decades -- and this vaccine might be a way to deliver anti-fertility drugs. He wants more testing done on the vaccine.

Just last week, the new WHO chief launched a mass vaccination campaign to eliminate polio transmission by the end of 2004. The key to eradicating polio lies in fighting it effectively in India, Nigeria, Pakistan and Egypt, which together account for 99% of new cases .