Hope For A Healthy World Competition » POLIO_004

Vaccinators Bilyaminu Yakuba and Sani Mohammed plead with a child under the age of five to let them administer two drops of polio vaccine on his tongue at a stationary vaccine site. Polio vaccinators fan out across the Fagge Government Area, in Ward Kwciri, looking for children under the age of five on day one of the Immunization Plus Day sponsored by Uniceff around Kano, Nigeria. Religious zealotry and misinformation have coerced villagers in the Muslim north of Nigeria into refusing polio vaccinations and led to the reemergence of polio only a few years after it nearly joined smallpox on the IDC’s list of eradicated diseases. The polio vaccine was banned in northern Nigeria in the summer of 2003 due to claims by clerics and politicians that the vaccines were tainted and were a Western ploy to spread HIV and make the Muslim girls sterile. During the one year ban, over 3000 children were crippled by polio and over 20 countries re-infected with the Nigeria strain of the virus.


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