A Non-Governmental Organization, Journalists Initiatives on Immunization Against Polio, says it has facilitated the acceptance of polio vaccine by Ungwar Tagarki community in Kaduna State after 10 years of resistance.
The JAP coordinator in the state, Lawal Dogara, in a statement on Monday said JAP, state health officials and development partners engaged the community in strategic meetings before they succumbed to accepting the administering of the polio vaccine to their children.
He said that the whole community had consistently rejected the polio vaccine in spite of several interventions by government and other stakeholders.
Dogara explained that a community elder, Yusuf Nadabo-Bello, helped to break the jinx when he submitted his wards for the vaccination, after which other senior community members followed suit.
“The eldest community member, who is now late, had placed a curse on anyone who allows his child or grandchild to be immunised, so the fear of falling into the spell held back even those willing to do so.”
The JAP chairman said the breakthrough was not easy, as even the state Commissioner for Health, Dr Paul Dogo, Kubau Local Government Sole Administrator, Shehu Mohammad, WHO, UNICEF, JNI and CAN officials had to intervene.
He recalled that two months ago, the state Deputy Governor Bala Bantex was in the community with regards to the same problem.
Dogara added that the state government had pledged to tackle infrastructure challenges in the community.