8 February 2013

Nigeria: Nine Polio Health Workers Gunned Down

Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Administering polio drops in Nigeria (file photo).

Unknown gunmen shot dead nine women involved in Nigeria's polio-vaccination campaign in the northern city of Kano on Friday in two separate attacks, press reports said on Friday.

The reports said gunmen arrived on motorcycles at two community health centers and opened fire on the health workers.

Authorities confirmed the deaths and said the incidents were under investigation.

It was not immediately clear who carried out the shootings, but the Islamist militant group Boko Haram has been blamed for a number of recent attacks in the city. The motorcade of one of the city's most prominent leaders, the Emir of Kano, was attacked last month, prompting authorities to ban motorbikes from carrying passengers.

The attacks on the health workers on Friday will likely further complicate Nigeria's efforts to eradicate polio. Some influential Muslim leaders oppose polio vaccination, saying it is harmful and aimed at Muslim children.

Nigeria is one of three countries where polio remains endemic, including India and Pakistan. Islamist militants in Pakistan last month attacked health workers involved in the polio eradication campaign there.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2013 allAfrica.com. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.