Saturday, July 03, 2004

News

Here is a sad article about what is happening to children in Nigeria because of the ignorance and stubborness of some adults.



Nigerian children pay the price of polio vaccine ban as polio outbreak hits


An outbreak of polio has hit children in the Nigerian state of Kano. Kano is one of the muslim states that had boycotted the use of the polio vaccine. Many muslim states in Nigeria banned the polio vaccine because those in charge said the Americans were using the vaccines to make their population infertile. Many of them said the vaccine would also be used to spread AIDS in the region. Despite appeals from neighbouring countries to vaccinate its population, the conspiracy theorists in Nigeria got their way.

Now, as expected, polio is beginning to spread among children in the region. Now the local authorities are appealing for urgent assistance.

The World Health Organisation has sent a team to the area. The team has confirmed that the outbreak is polio.

It was only during the month of May this year that officials in Kano decided to resume vaccinations because the new batch came from Indonesia, a muslim country. Unfortunately, this massive delay is going to be paid for by scores of children, who could end up being crippled for life (as well as dying).

Polio is very rare in the world today. Vaccinations, which are done worldwide, have managed to nearly eradicate the disease. If the ‘wise’ men of those regions of Nigeria had decided to see sense a long time ago, polio would most probably not exist in Nigeria today. Why didn’t they ask for batches from muslim countries a year ago? Why did they wait so long? Everyone, the WHO, their neighbours, even their own population was begging them to see sense.

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