Fear of Violence Slows Polio Immunization Drive in Kano


Fear and secrecy have cloaked the roll-out of a polio campaign currently underway in northern Nigeria. Vaccinators are concealing their identities, hiding vaccinations under their veils and visiting some areas only with undercover armed guards, following the February murder by Boko Haram of nine polio workers in the northern city of Kano.

“The [polio] campaign is done under an atmosphere of fear and secrecy, with vaccinators hiding their identity and moving around furtively for fear of being attacked,” a source at the World Health Organization (WHO) office in Kano, who is involved in polio immunization campaigns, told IRIN.

The Ministry of Health temporarily suspended the immunization campaign in March 2013, as vaccinators were too frightened to continue, said Shehu Abdullahi, executive secretary of Kano State’s Primary Healthcare Management Board (PHMB) in charge of polio immunizations. The campaign resumed in April.

The full article continues at http://www.irinnews.org/report/98977/fear-of-violence-slows-polio-immunization-drive-in-kano on IRIN’s website.