Search the web
Yahoo! News Sign In
New User? Sign Up
Click to learn more...
Welcome, Guest Personalize News Home Page   -   Sign In
Yahoo! News   Sat, Jan 31, 2004
Search    for     Advanced
News Home
Top Stories
U.S. National
   Weight Loss
   Sexual Health
Most Popular
Oddly Enough
News Photos
Most Popular
Full Coverage

Full Coverage
More about
Related News Stories
US Concerned Over Any Nigeria-N.Korea Missile Sale Reuters via Yahoo! News (Jan 30, 2004)
Nigerian hopes on polio campaign at BBC (Jan 30, 2004)
Nigeria seeking N Korea missiles at BBC (Jan 29, 2004)
Opinion & Editorials
Nigeria struggles against the curse of oil at International Herald Tribune (Jan 7, 2004)
Nigeria: Happiest nation on earth? at The Toronto Star. (Dec 29, 2003)
Feature Articles
Commonwealth black sheep at Radio Netherlands (Dec 2, 2003)
HIV fight comes up short in Nigeria at Boston Globe (Dec 1, 2003)
Related Web Sites
Embassy of Nigeria in Washington D.C.
Nigerian National Orientation and Public Affairs
Permanent Mission of Nigeria to the UN

News Resources
· Reuters
· AP
· HealthDay
· ACS News Today
· CP
News Alerts
· World Health Organization
· Daily Emails
· Free News Alerts
  News via RSS

Health - Reuters
Nigeria to Test Polio Vaccine to Counter Suspicion
Wed Jan 28, 9:08 AM ET
Add Health - Reuters to My Yahoo!

ABUJA, Nigeria (Reuters) - Nigeria is to test samples of the polio vaccine next month in the hope of resolving a dispute with Muslim authorities which has helped spread the crippling disease to children across Africa.

In Yahoo! Health
Chronic Heartburn Chronic Heartburn
Need Relief?

More from Yahoo! Health:
Check Your Symptoms
How Is It Diagnosed?
Available Treatments

Three predominantly Muslim states in northern Nigeria stopped immunizations in November because Islamic authorities suspect the vaccines of spreading infertility -- which they believe is part of an American conspiracy to depopulate Africa's most populous nation.

"A meeting has been scheduled in two weeks' time with all the states that are opposed to the immunization program," Health Minister Eyitayo Lambo told Reuters.

He said during the meeting, and in the presence of all, the vaccine would be tested for impurities.

Children in Burkina Faso, Chad and Central African Republic have contracted polio in the last few months and the World Health Organization (news - web sites) has pointed the finger of blame firmly at Nigeria, which accounted for half of all confirmed cases worldwide last year.

Nasiu Baba-Ahmed, Secretary-General of the Supreme Council for Sharia (Islamic law) in Nigeria, backed the idea of a joint test with the government. He said tests commissioned by Nigerian Islamic groups in Italy and India confirmed the presence of contaminants in vaccines taken from northern Nigeria.

The government says the vaccines are pure.

"There are serious suspicions of a conspiracy by the U.S. government to depopulate Nigeria, among other developing countries," he told Reuters.

"Unless a joint examination is undertaken, suspicions will linger and people will not be forthcoming."

If the joint test puts fears to rest, the minister said vaccinations would resume nationwide on February 23.

Nigeria is proving the main obstacle to the WHO's goal of eradicating polio globally by 2005.

Baba-Ahmed questioned why there was so much emphasis on polio, which affects hundreds of children in Nigeria, when thousands are killed every year by other preventable diseases such as measles, typhoid, malaria and meningitis.

Analysts warned the joint test may not clear up the dispute, as its roots went beyond purely scientific matters.

"The problem is geopolitical, not a health matter," said political commentator Pini Jason.

"The controversy over the vaccine is similar to the debate over Sharia. Those who oppose the vaccine are making a global political statement against the United States as regards its foreign policy to Islamic nations," he said.

The three objector states, Kano, Kaduna and Zamfara, are among 12 northern states which introduced sharia law soon after the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999.

The adoption of sharia has fueled religious and ethnic violence, which has killed about 5,000 people over the past five years in the north of the oil exporting country.


Mail to Friend  Email Story
Message Boards   Post/Read Msgs
Printer Version   Print Story
Ratings: Would you recommend this story?
Not at all 1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 Highly

Prev. Story: China Confirms One New SARS Case in South (Reuters)
Next Story: Guzzling Beer Helps Rats Stay Cancer-Free (Reuters)

More Health Stories
· China Announces New Confirmed SARS Case   (AP)
· Men in Nursing  (HealthDay)
· Is Salmon Safe?  (American Cancer Society)
· China clamps down on poultry trade as bird flu battle intensifies  (AFP)
· China Urged to Act on Bird Flu, Thais Defiant  (Reuters)


Online Graduate Degrees in Health
・/TD> Online Graduate Degrees in Health
・/TD> Browse All Health Programs
from Yahoo! Education

Copyright ゥ 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
Copyright © 2004 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved.
Questions or Comments
Privacy Policy -Terms of Service - Copyright Policy - Ad Feedback