Nigerians travelling abroad to take polio vaccine – WHO

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Kaduna – Dr Ray Nihar, an official of the World Health Organisation (WHO) said in Kaduna on Thursday that Nigerians travelling abroad would be compelled to take the oral polio vaccine by May 2013.

Nihar said at the monthly review meeting of traditional rulers in Kaduna State involved in polio eradication campaign that WHO would issue a standing recommendation to all nations under the International Health Regulations.

He said children and adult travelling out of Afghanistan, Nigeria and Pakistan must be certified as having been vaccinated against polio “to reduce the substantial risk of the virus spreading to polio-free countries”.

He said the report issued by the International Monitory Board on Polio revealed that “too many communities” regard  polio vaccination as an imposition with no benefit.

He said polio eradication was vital in affected countries, adding that neighbouring countries would not be safe.

In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), the Chairman, Kaduna State Action Committee on the Eradication of Polio, Alhaji Mustapha Jumare said insecurity and inaccessibility to certain areas had affected total coverage.

He also blamed vaccinators for laxity, thereby retarding efforts at ending the disease.

Also, the Chief of Kagoro, Mr Afuwai Bonet urged legislators to participate in the fight against polio in their respective constituencies.

Bonet said compelling Nigerians travelling abroad to take the vaccine would be an embarrassment to Nigeria including the legislators. (NAN)

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