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Heroine defies threats to help rid polio

08 April 2016, 20:23

Lagos – The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has paid tribute to an unsung heroine for her role in helping eradicate polio in the country.

Tina Iroghama Agbonyinma, the Social Mobilization consultant responsible for the Sumaila Local Government Area (LGA) in Kano State, has been lauded as an amazon of the polio eradication initiative in Nigeria.

“Although she is not in the headline news, she is one of the silent, behind the scene achievers working towards a world free of polio,” said UNICEF Nigeria on Friday.

Also read: Buhari begs doctors to shelve planned strike

The UN agency recalled in 2014, when a small, hard to reach village in Kano threatened violence if any polio worker came to vaccinate the children against polio, many people shied away.

However, Agbonyinma volunteered to go.

She traveled to the village, spoke with the local chief and other community leaders to understand and addressed their concerns.

“She was very gentle and patient in dealing with the community and helped people to understand more about polio and the vaccine,” UNICEF stated.

“Due to her courage, the village went from 100 percent non-compliant to 100 percent vaccinated.”

Sumaila LGA recently received an award for the best Volunteer Community Mobilisers in Kano state, and during a recent trip to this village, the community expressed their thanks for how Agbonyinma respected their wishes and concerns and for her help to protect their children from polio.

“We need a million Tina’s in every facet of our life,” UNICEF stated.

- News 24


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