Archive | October, 2008

Polio Epedemic in Kano Africa

31 Oct

American biologist, Dr. Jonas Salk in 1961, announced a vaccine for the most dreaded disease, Polio, during the 20th century.

As a result, most of the world has been eradicated of the disease but Kano, Nigeria, has reported 200 new cases just this year, according to Abdul Yakub, the immunization officer of Kano.

Western vaccinations are now being offered through the “Global Polio Vaccination Program,” but many Nigerians are reluctant to participate in treatment. Villagers fear that a Polio vaccination will cause death, AIDS, sterility, and permanent mental illnesses.

The speculations that Nigerians have results from a lawsuit that the Nigerian Government filed against the drug company “Pfizer” in 1996.

The rumors that have spread about the dangers of Western medicine in Kano, Nigeria, are affecting the vaccination drives that are taking place years after the Kano vs. Pfizer trail.

“During the trial people saw children dying and being deformed, that is what made people believe that we were being harmed and not helped,” says Aisha Kiru, Kano’s Commissioner of Health.

Evidence of the Northern Nigerian strand of Polio, has already been reported in both Saudi Arabia and Indonesia according to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF).

“Yes the polio virus is a serious problem in our country and with teamwork we will be able to get rid of it,” says Yakub.