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Nigeria: why the fight against polio isn’t over

A common saying goes: “He who fights and runs away, may live to fight another day”. This, I believe, is so because all fights are meant to end.

The fight to kick polio out of Nigeria is one fight which is obviously taking too long to end, making people to pause to wonder why.

During the visit of Nigeria’s honorable minister of state for health, the Emir of Katsina, he expressed sadness at the prolonged fight against polio in the country.

The Emir went further to say that one of the major factors hampering the fight against polio in Nigeria is the money involved in the campaign.

He said some of the people involved in the mobilisation and execution are taking advantage of the money being given to them not to do the work, as they feel that if the disease is eradicated the money will no longer be there. A situation he described as “pathetic”.

He expressed his sadness over people’s resistance to polio vaccination, which he said “is a thing as simple as opening the mouth to take a drop of the vaccine that is brought to your doorsteps, and that’s all!”

Time to join the fight

According to the Emir, religious belief shouldn’t stop anyone from doing the right thing. Neither should hatred for the ruling government or party be a factor for people to refuse to accept any good initiative coming from them, like the Kick Polio Out of Nigeria campaign.

He urged Nigerians to have a change of attitude and embrace the campaign against polio by giving it the much-needed support to eradicate it.

On his side, the Emir promised to continue sensitising his people on the need to accept the polio fight as it’s in their best interests and that of the society as a whole.

He has declared a jihad on polio and zero-level tolerance for the disease. He said anybody that doesn’t comply in Katsina will have to leave the state.

It is indeed a good thing to see that traditional leaders are being enthusiastic in the total eradication of polio in Nigeria.

It’ll be a great thing when their followers join and become selfless in the fight to bring polio to an end and never live to fight it again!

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