Polio: North Won't Succumb to EU/WHO's Pressure, Says Shekarau

( [email protected] ) Nov 19, 2003 10:52 AM EST

Kano State Governor, Malam Ibrahim Shekarau, has said that the state and other Northern states will not yield to the pressure from the European Union (EU) and World Health Organisation (WHO) over the seeming non-cooperative attitude towards polio vaccination.

Kano with the highest cases of polio has suspended the exercise following fears expressed about perceived hidden agenda of the West over the vaccination thus making the EU to threaten to withdraw aids on health related programmes.

Speaking while receiving the Minister of Health, Professor Eyitayo Lambo, and Regional Director of World Health Organisation (WHO), Professor Ibrahim Aliyu Sambo in his officce, Shekarau pointed out that the stance of the northern states was the best as committees had been set up to investigate the quality of the vaccine.

"We are ready to sponsor anybody to go to any length to verify the genuinity of the polio vaccine but let me say that we don't believe in threat as it does not work in this state," he said.

He, however, urged the EU and WHO to restore to public enlightenment rather than threat.

Earlier, the WHO Regional Director, lamented the stance of the northern states on the polio vaccine, saying more children are now being inflicted with the disease.

According to Sambo, "the donor countries in Europe are now threatening to withdraw their support if the exercise continue to fail."