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BBG On the Ground: VOA Teams With CDC to Battle Polio in Nigeria

[ 0 ] July 29, 2013 |

Voice of America and the Center for Disease Control teamed to engage local journalists in the fight against polio in Kano and Jigawa States in Nigeria…

VOA - CDC logos  The Voice of America, along with the CDC sponsored roundtable discussions and health journalism workshops last month in the Nigerian States of Kano and Jigawa.

The events, held July 18 and July 24-25 in Kano and Dutse respectively, were intended to bolster capacity to spread information and encourage immunization against polio, a disease that has yet to be eradicated in Nigeria.

Participants sign in at the Kano roundtable.

Participants sign in at the Kano roundtable.

Dozens of participants attended each, representing government, the World Health Organization, religious leadership and journalistic organizations bent on building health education capacity across the country.

Voice of America Hausa-language programming, such as Rigakafi Tambarin Lafiya, which translates into “prevention is better than cure,” works to counter incorrect or in some cases disinformation about diseases such as polio. For example, some in Nigeria incorrectly teach that polio immunization can cause fertility problems.

The WHO's Dr. Sulaiman Abdullahi speaking in Kano

The WHO’s Dr. Sulaiman Abdullahi  in Kano

A renown Islamic scholar in Kano, Sheikh Mohammed Nasir Adam, quoted some verses of the Holy Qur’an and some relevant Hadiths of Prophet Mohammed where Muslims are directed to embrace immunization to guard themselves against bodily harm, be it from fellow human beings or diseases such as polio.

Thirty nine cases of the highly contagious disease have been diagnosed thus year in Nigeria. And while the number appears small, it has incredible potential to spread among densely populated towns and cities that often lack basic sanitation.

VOA radio affiliates Freedom Radio Kano and Freedom Radio Dutse participated in the events and the ongoing education efforts.

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Category: Africa News, BBG Dealbook, International Broadcasting News, News By Region, North Africa News, Sub-Saharan Africa News

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