NewsMax.com, Jun. 28
Thanks to Muslim clerics in Nigeria, polio is once again spreading through the African continent.
Polio — a very debilitating but equally preventable neuromuscular disease — was never completely eradicated from the globe (only smallpox has this distinction).
But officials from the World Health Organization say they could have nearly wiped polio off the map by the end of 2005.
However, according to reports, Muslim clerics in the Nigerian state of Kano and elsewhere in the northern part of the country convinced government officials to stop providing vaccines months ago.
The clerics said the vaccines made in the West were tainted, containing anti-fertility drugs designed to depopulate the area.
Voice of America news reported, “An activist from a human rights group based in northern Nigeria, Nasir Abbas, says local Islamic leaders like Alhaji Datti Ahmed of the Supreme Council on Sharia continue to play a large role in influencing policies in Kano State.”
Local, anti-Western Muslims allowed children contract polio rather than allow the government to provide the medicine to prevent it, no matter the source.
And, by waiting for a vaccine to be tested and found “safe” in Indonesia, that’s just what happened.
The World Health Organization says the Nigerians’ stoppage of the immunization program has caused a resurgence of polio cases all across Africa, from nearby Ivory Coast to Botswana in southern Africa.
More specifically, the group says 90 percent of the new cases have been traced to a strain of polio found to have originated in Nigeria.
The Washington Post continues: “Nigeria, where the current upsurge began, now has five times as many cases of polio as it did this time last year, officials at the World Health Organization in Geneva said. New cases have been found in 30 of its 37 states, with most in the Muslim north . . .”
“Right when it should have been disappearing during the low season, this virus was gathering steam to come roaring out,” R. Bruce Aylward, global coordinator of the eradication campaign at WHO, said in a telephone briefing.
WHO aims to vaccinate all 74 million African children under the age of 5, at a cost of $100 million.
There were no figures provided for what it will cost to take care of the African children who have recently contracted polio because of Muslim clerics’ continuing disdain for the West.