Saturday, July 03, 2004

The Inevitable Happens in Kano

Wouldn't you know it? A large-scale polio outbreak has just been reported in Kano State. Yet more lives are set to be added to the roster of 259 children needlessly crippled by Islamist conspiracy-theorizing.

KANO, Nigeria -- A suspected large-scale polio outbreak was reported Friday among children in a heavily Muslim northern Nigeria state that had boycotted immunization campaigns, and local authorities appealed for urgent action to stop the spread.
The suspected outbreak was in Kano state, one of several in northern Nigeria that had shunned polio vaccination drives over suspicions the vaccines were part of a U.S.-led plot to render Muslims sterile.
On Friday, local officials in the Kano state city of Rogo disclosed that they had recorded dozens of suspected polio cases in recent weeks. Rogo is 60 miles southeast of the state capital, also named Kano.
Each of 15 districts in Rogo has seen an average of two cases, Nasril Dalha, city council vice chairman, told local Freedom Radio. All cases showed symptoms -- fever, fatigue, stiffness in the neck and pain in the limbs -- associated with polio, with some already resulting in paralysis.
Dalha appealed for intervention by Kano state Gov. Ibrahim Shekarau's administration.
"If this is not addressed quickly, I'm afraid more children will be affected," he said.


In September, Shekarau suspended participation in a global immunization program on the grounds that local scientists had discovered traces of a hormone in foreign-made vaccines that they feared could make girls infertile.
Some local Islamic leaders accused the Nigerian federal government of being part of a U.S. plot to kill off Muslims with the vaccines.


Kano continued to shun vaccination after the other states rejoined the campaign in March.
Kano state finally announced in late May it had found "safe vaccines" in the heavily Muslim nation of Indonesia and would use those to resume vaccinations shortly.
WHO officials in Geneva said Wednesday they expected immunization to resume there within days; local officials in Kano have not yet publicly committed to a date. (emphasis added)
Why should so many be condemned to lifetimes of disability simply because a few religion-drunk ignoramuses wanted to cock a snook at the West? What good is it to mouth inanities about "Islamophobia" when the real-life consequences of unchallenged Islamism can be so deadly?

The great irony in all this is that virtually every last one of the Nigerian children who'll end up paralyzed by poliomyelitis will hail from a Muslim family - the vaccination programme went off without a hitch throughout Southern Nigeria and the Christian Middle-Belt region.