Nigeria Plans To Vaccinate 3M Children For Measles, Polio

“Nigeria’s northern Kano state is starting to vaccinate three million children against polio and measles with tight security because of fears of attack by Islamic extremists,” the Associated Press/Washington Post reports. “[T]he vaccinations will be administered at 2,700 community centers — apparently ensuring more protection,” according to Shehu Usman Abubakar, the executive secretary for primary health care, the news agency states, noting, “Militants staging an Islamic uprising in northeastern Nigeria in February killed nine women health workers as they were vaccinating children in a house-to-house campaign in Kano city.” Last year, 200 children died of measles in Kano state, and 14 new cases of polio have been reported recently in Borno state, the AP adds (10/4). According to Bernama, “More than 34,000 teams will be engaged in the immunization exercise sponsored by the [WHO], UNICEF, and Rotary International, along with other key development partners and the Nigerian government” (10/4). In a feature story, Science profiles Muhammad Ali Pate, Nigeria’s former minister of state for health, who “has been trying to do what no one has been able to accomplish before him — finally drive the poliovirus from Nigeria, one of the last and most stubborn reservoirs in the world” (Roberts, 10/4).

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