How Imams, Royalty and Family Celebrations are Wiping Out Polio in Nigeria

Ramlatu Musaa never met the Emir of Kano State in northern Nigeria. Of course, Ramlatu Musaa hasn’t met a lot of people. She’s only about a week old, born in Kano on April 29, 2018, and yet in some ways, the Emir may have helped saved her life. Two years ago, the polio vaccine was available in Nigeria, but it was still frequently rejected by families. Stray rumors continued to circulate that it was unsafe, able to sicken children and render them infertile. So before one of that year’s national vaccination campaigns began, the Emir—a hereditary leader descended from a ruling family—appeared at a public ceremony and called for a vial of polio vaccine to be brought to the stage. With the audience watching, he broke its seal and drank down its entire contents. And with that, vaccine resistance in Nigeria retreated one more step. Ramlatu just got her own, much smaller, two-drop dose of the vaccine, the first of eight polio vaccinations she will receive by the time she is nine years old. As it happens, the seven-days-old mark, which immunological science says is the time that the first vaccine dose should be administered, is also when Nigerian tradition says a baby’s naming ceremony should be held. So for Ramlatu, as for many Nigerian newborns, the two occasions were combined. Her celebration and vaccination took place in a small courtyard in a crowded Kano neighborhood, and the event was packed with mothers and children, along with a few repre...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized healthytime public health Source Type: news

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The good news is that the disease is very rare. Only one in 1 million people will get it, and most of them will recover without treatment. Still, because the disease is more likely to strike children, and because of the mysteries of it and because of the dramatic health effects, it gets more attention than it might otherwise.
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The good news is that the disease is very rare. Only one in 1 million people will get it, and most of them will recover without treatment. Still, because the disease is more likely to strike children, and because of the mysteries of it and because of the dramatic health effects, it gets more attention than it might otherwise.
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Ramlatu Musaa never met the Emir of Kano State in northern Nigeria. Of course, Ramlatu Musaa hasn’t met a lot of people. She’s only about a week old, born in Kano on April 29, 2018, and yet in some ways, the Emir may have helped saved her life. Two years ago, the polio vaccine was available in Nigeria, but it was still frequently rejected by families. Stray rumors continued to circulate that it was unsafe, able to sicken children and render them infertile. So before one of that year’s national vaccination campaigns began, the Emir—a hereditary leader descended from a ruling family—appeared at ...
Source: TIME: Science - Category: Science Authors: Tags: Uncategorized healthytime public health Source Type: news
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