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Last Updated: Friday, 12 December, 2003, 13:09 GMT
Kano shuns Nigeria polio campaign
Child getting the polio vaccine
15 million children in West Africa are at risk on contracting polio
The northern Nigerian state of Kano is not part of a new polio vaccination campaign being conducted by the World Health Organisation after health fears.

Muslim leaders in the historic city say the vaccine has been laced with anti-fertility drugs. Scientific tests in Nigeria approved the injection.

Nigeria has the world's highest number of new polio cases, centred in Kano, and it is spreading to other countries.

WHO fears that its goal of eradicating polio by 2005 is now under threat.

'US conspiracy'

Some 15 million children in West Africa are at risk of contracting polio.

The WHO is carrying out anti-polio vaccinations in the six worst affected states in Nigeria - except Kano.

Datti Ahmed, the President of the Kano-based Sharia (Islamic Law) Supreme council, has told the BBC that the vaccine is part of a United States-led conspiracy to de-populate the developing world.

The BBC's Anna Borzello in Nigeria says fears like these are now common in Kano where anti-American sentiment is on the rise.

The WHO hopes that Kano can be included in th next round of immunisation, starting in February.

Since January, there have been 74 new cases of the potentially crippling disease.

This is a 30% increase from last year, according to the WHO.

It says the disease is now spreading from Kano to other neighbouring states and neighbouring countries like Ghana, Togo, Niger and Burkina Faso.




SEE ALSO:
Nigeria calls for vaccine checks
29 Oct 03  |  Africa
Polio 'firewall' around Nigeria
23 Oct 03  |  Africa
WHO steps up polio fight
29 Jul 03  |  Health
Country profile: Nigeria
07 Jul 03  |  Country profiles


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