Vaccine-linked polio hits Nigeria
London, October 10, 2007
Nigeria is fighting a rare outbreak of a vaccine-derived form of polio, says the UN's World Health Organisation.
It says 69 children in the north have caught the paralysing disease from others who had already been immunised.
The WHO says such rare outbreaks have occurred where immunisation campaigns did not reach enough of the population.
In 2003 Islamic leaders brought a temporary halt to the vaccine campaign in the north saying it was a Western conspiracy to sterilise Muslim women.
The WHO says this rare outbreak of vaccine-derived polio demonstrates the need for more vaccination, not less.
But the concern is that the cause of the outbreak could be misinterpreted by people here and reinforce their scepticism of the whole vaccine campaign.