Bauchi- Elizabeth Carr, President, Journalist Against Polio (JAP) said on Thursday that some communities in Bauchi rejected polio vaccine as a sign of protest over lack of social amenities in their localities.
Speaking during a 'Round Table Discussion on Polio' in Bauchi, the Carr said that some cases of the rejection of the vaccine were not because people did not believe in its efficacy.
"In the course of our town hall meetings, some communities will explain their reasons for not accepting the vaccine, to inadequate source of portable drinking water or lack of electricity supply by the government, but emphasis on house to house polio vaccination,’’ she said.
Carr said that journalists in the state had been doing their best to educate the people on the need to embrace the vaccine in the interest of the future generation.
In his contribution, the Director of News and Current Affair, Bauchi State Radio Corporation (BRC), Mohammed Ladan, urged Hausa Broadcasters to translate the name of the vaccine appropriately for clear understanding and acceptance by the general public.
According to him, the name of the vaccine is being wrongly interpreted, thereby giving it a negative perception.
"The translated version of polio vaccine does not go with its literal meaning in English, because the Hausa translates it as 'injection' whereas it is an oral vaccine.
"There is the need for journalists to come together and brainstorms on the appropriate translation of polio vaccine,’’ he advised.
The Emir of Dass, Usman Othman, who is also the Chairmen of the Bauchi State Committee on Polio Immunisation, said that arrangements had been concluded to train 600 traditional and religious leaders to help in sensitising the people.
"Plans have reached advanced stage to train ward and district heads as well as religious leaders on the roles expected of them during immunisation days,’’ he said.
He lamented the attitude of some vaccinators whom he said never involved community leaders during the exercise only to seek for the assistance of such leaders when they encountered resistance.
An ambassador of polio campaign and victim, Ibrahim Umar, called on the state government to enact a law that would deter parents from rejecting the vaccine.
He said that an association of person deformed by polio virus, made up of 50 members had been formed in the state, adding that there were plans to ensure that children affected were sponsored for corrective surgery.
The News agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the programme was organised by the Hausa service, Voice of America (VOA), in collaboration with Centre for Disease Control in America (CDC), Northern Nigeria and Hausa Polio Broadcast Project.