Thursday, August 05, 2004

Nigeria: parents still refusing to have children immunized

As the five-day campaign, launched on Saturday to great fanfare, approached its end, officials in the northern city of Kano admitted they would not hit its target of vaccinating four million under-fives against the crippling disease [polio].

"I worked on Saturday and Sunday but nobody I met would allow me to vaccinate his child. The first day I went to 16 houses and at each house I was rebuffed by the parents," said auxiliary health worker Shamsuddeen Falalu.

[...] On Saturday, Kano's governor Ibrahim Shekarau announced that local tests on a new batch of vaccine imported from Indonesia, a mainly-Muslim country, had proved the treatment safe. He called on families to protect their kids.

But this week health workers found that much suspicion remains. (source)
And another side of the story ... or possibly rumour.
THISDAY checks revealed that most of the ad hoc staff recruited to handle the programme have formed the habit of pouring away the content of the vaccines instead of immunising the children.

A resident of the city, Auwalu Pele told THISDAY that "I witnessed it, the girls were just wasting the drugs."

[...] Another resident, Musa, however, told THISDAY that he even begged some girls at Yan Awaki quarters to "come and immunise his children but they said they would come back but I am still waiting for them."1
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1: Musa, Yakubu. (2004, Aug 4). Polio: Another Problem Looms in Kano. This Day.