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How poverty, ignorance fuel Borno’s non-compliance on polio immunisation


Polio immunisation

The Borno State Coordinator for Journalists Against Polio (JAP), Pauline Ibrahim has attributed “poverty and ignorance” to non-compliance of parents immumization their children and wards against poliovirus in Maiduguri metropolis.

The coordinator disclosed this on Monday in Maiduguri; while reviewing the polio immunization exercise at the Primary Health Centre of Maiduguri Metropolitan Council (MMC).

She said that Health providers and Stakeholders involved in campaigns to end polio; have however canvased for more synergy among agencies, groups and bodies to ensure the success of the vaccination exercise in the state.

“There are few cases of rejection of the polio vaccine by some residents of Maiduguri in a community traumatized by the Boko Haram insurgency,” said Pauline at the health centre.

She said some residents of Bulabulin-Nganaram ward, seized by Boko Haram in 2014, refused to allow their children take polio vaccine in the just-concluded Immunization plus Days exercise. The defaulting parents, according to her, alleged unequal distribution of food items to them by some humanitarian agencies.

She said that the cooperation among humanitarian organizations involved in supports for victims of insurgency in the state and polio immunization campaigners could remove the misinformation among residents and unwilling parents. Ward Head of Umarari Borehole in Maiduguri where few non-compliance to polio immunization were reported during the Immunization Plus Days (IPDs) Bulama Wakil Waani said some residents refused to allow their children take the polio vaccine.

“Some parents claimed that they were given food items by an international humanitarian agency even after they were issued cards as part of procedures for food distributions,” said Waani.

A mother of three, Auwa, also told The Guardian yesterday that she refused to present her child for the vaccination having being “denied” of foods. “I was given card but the agency didn’t give me, so why are they coming now with drug (polio vaccine) and not that of malaria,” she insisted.

Pauline said the group is also working with the World Health Organization (WHO) to ensure the campaigns against polio are not relaxed until the disease is cleared from the area.

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