Governor Ibrahim Shekarau of Nigeria’s Kano state this month removed an 11-month ban on polio vaccination in that state. Polio vaccinations were halted in August 2003 after absurd claims that the polio vaccine was part of a plot to make Nigerian girls infertile.
The ban on vaccinations saw a marked increase in polio cases in Nigeria which quickly spread to neighboring countries, including several that had previously been declared polio-free by the World Health Organization.
Nigeria has reported 430 cases of polio since the beginning of the year, accounting for almost 90 percent of cases worldwide. Ten other sub-Saharan countries have also reported cases of polio this year, compared to just two last year.
Nigerian state revokes ban on polio vaccine. Associated Press, July 20, 2004.
Islamic Nigerian state ends ban on polio vaccinations. Associated Press, August 1, 2004.
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