Sub-Saharan Africa

  • Nigerian polio vaccinations to resume without delay

    22/07/04

The governor of the northern Nigerian state of Kano has announced that its polio vaccination campaign will resume as soon as possible. The programme was suspended last August, after Islamic clerics claimed that the vaccines were infected as part of a US plot to render Muslim women infertile. Health officials have confirmed that new supplies of vaccines from Indonesia are safe.

Over 200 polio cases have been reported since the suspension 11 months ago compared to less than 50 cases for the same period last year. During the same period, ten previously polio-free African countries have been re-infected. 

The Word Health Organisation recently warned that the region was facing an epidemic, with Nigeria accounting for more than three-quarters of all new polio cases. The disease mainly affects children under five, and can lead to total paralysis or death by invading the nervous system.

Link to full BBC Online news story