Hope For A Healthy World Competition » POLIO_010

Umar, 8, son of Aminu Ahmen El Wada, the Founder and Chairman of the Kano State Polio Victims Trust Association and crippled with polio, stands with the help of a crutch, in the guinea fowl house at his home in Kano, Nigeria. There are seven children in the family and Umar is the only child with polio and the only one who was not born in a hospital and contracted the virus when he was a toddler. Both of his parents are crippled with polio.
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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