Factors Responsible for Oral Polio Vaccine Rejection by Some Parents in Northern Nigeria

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DOI: 10.21522/TIJPH.2013.05.04.Art046

Authors : Adamu, Umar Husaini


Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa, with a population of over 140 million and it is one of the fastest growing nations in the world. It has a very rich cultural heritage, with over 300 ethnic and linguistic groups. The major ethnic groups are Hausas, Yorubas and the Igbos. The most popular religions are Islam (mainly in the Northern Parts), Christianity (mainly in the southern parts), and traditional African religion, mainly freely practiced alongside other religions (Babalola and Aina, 2004).

The population of the Northern Nigeria is more than that of the southern part of the country. The first census of Nigeria was conducted in 1911 about three years before creation (Yakasai, 2006). This means that there are more children in the northern Nigeria than other part of the country. The issue of polygamy which is largely practice in the northern part of Nigeria also contributed to the large number of children in the area.

Childhood immunization is designed to improve child health and reduce morbidity and mortality. Nigeria commenced immunization activities many years ago, focusing initially on the control of yellow fever and smallpox. It launched the Expanded Programme on Immunization (EPI) in 1979 due to global increased in mortality of children under the age of 2 years as a result of vaccine preventable diseases. The programme was successful at the beginning but declines in uptake of the services were quickly observed. Joint efforts of the Federal Government, State agencies and international organizations (UNICEF, WHO) led to Nigeria attaining Universal Childhood Immunization (UCI) in 1991 (Federal Ministry of Health, 1992; in Babalola and Aina, 2004).


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