HAASTEET / UTMANINGAR Parents in northern Nigeria are refusing to allow their children to be vaccinated against poliomyelitis. They fear that the vaccine might contain HIV and make their children infertile. People in the region believe that polio vaccine is a western ploy to curb population growth in Nigeria, despite efforts by community and religious leaders to allay fears. "Nigeria is one of eight countries where polio immunisation is in danger of failing because of widespread refusals in the northern region," said Dr Abba Zakari, director of the primary healthcare programme in Jigawa State, one of several states in northern Nigeria with a high incidence of polio.
HAASTEET / UTMANINGAR: YHTEISKUNTA / SAMHÄLLET 14 September 2008 Polio workers killed in the line of duty Attack in southern Afghanistan a reminder of the dangers faced by public health workers Two doctors on WHO duty and their driver were assassinated today by a vehicle- borne suicide bomber in Kandahar province of southern Afghanistan. Dr Shamsul Haq MH Kakar, Dr Mamoon Taher Taheri, along with their driver Azizullah Almas from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, were on their way to prepare logistics for a polio vaccination campaign in the region next week when their convoy was attacked. This tragic incident, along with an armed attack in Somalia this summer which seriously wounded two polio workers, are stark reminders of the risks faced by those working for public health in many parts of the world.
The Art of Eradicating Polio http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/28.full http://www.sciencemag.org/content/342/6154/28.full Haruna Kaita, a professor of pharmacy at Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria and one of what Pate calls the "pseudoscientists" who have spread rumors about the polio vaccine. In 2004, Kaita announced he had analyzed samples of OPV and found traces of estradiol and other contaminants, feeding into the furor that led to the vaccination ban of 2003 and 2004. The ban was lifted only after intense national and international lobbying, with then-President Olusegun Obasanjo assembling several delegations to test the vaccine, and GPEI providing assurances that only vaccine made in Indonesia, a Muslim country, would be used in Nigeria. In January this year, Kaita teamed up with an influential cleric and made a CD, widely distributed, repeating many of the earlier assertions. Kaita alleged that the polio vaccine "contain[s] birth control and birth defect- causing substances … [and] that children could contract other diseases through the [vaccine], it could be cancer, HIV, or mad cow disease …" The cleric, Ibrahim Ahmad Aliyu, said, according to a translation: "Forceful oral polio vaccinations are an American-planned genocide against the Muslim populations in Nigeria.