African Health Sciences
Makerere University Medical School
Vol. 16, No. 2, 2016, pp. 584-587
Bioline Code: hs16073
Full paper language: English
Document type: Short Communication
Document available free of charge
African Health Sciences, Vol. 16, No. 2, 2016, pp. 584-587
© Copyright 2016 - African Health Sciences
Polio eradication efforts in regions of geopolitical strife: the Boko Haram threat to efforts in sub-Saharan Africa.|
Bigna, Jean Joel R.
The World Health Organization aims to eradicate wild poliovirus worldwide by the end of 2018. Cameroon and
Nigeria, neighboring countries, have been affected by the terrorist and militant activities of the Islamist sect Boko Haram. Impacted
regions are mainly the far North of Cameroon and Northern Nigeria. Targets of Boko Haram aggression in these zones
include violence against polio workers, disruption of polio immunization campaigns, with consequent reduced access to health
care and immunization. In addition to this significant problem, Northern Nigeria has historically seen rejection of polio virus
vaccine initiatives. It remains to know how health systems can continue operations against polio in areas where Boko Haram
operates. If appropriate measures are not urgently taken, it will be not possible to meet the 2018 goal of polio virus eradication.
The response should include specialized immunization activities in conflict zones, will engagement of leaders. Countries should
also explore immunization activities by soldiers and military personnel.
Boko Haram; terrorism; polio; polio virus; wild polio virus; vaccination; immunization; Nigeria; Cameroon