The Boko Haram insurgency has been identified as the factor responsible for the recent rise in the cases of poliomyelitis in Borno State.
According to the Borno State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Salma Anas-Kolo, the state, with 14 cases was the highest in the country which he blamed on insecurity in many parts of the state, which made difficult for health workers to immunize children in the state.
Anas-Kolo disclosed yesterday at a sensitisation programme for traditional leaders in the state that Borno has 14 cases of polio out of the nation's 37 and the global 44 cases. She said that the sensitisation programme became imperative in order to meet the 2014 World Health Organisation (WHO)'s target of freeing the globe of polio.
The commissioner, who explained that Maiduguri was picked for the kick off of the sensitisation programme because it recorded the highest cases of six in the state with its neighbouring council having four cases, said it was not all a sad story as the incidences could have been higher but for the dedication of health workers that withstood the insecurity and went to some areas to get children immunised.
The Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Garbai Al-Amin Elkanemi, who hosted the sensitisation programme at his palace, called on his subjects to avail their children from 0-5 years to take immunization vaccine against the five killer diseases.
He asked all traditional institutions in the state to intensify effort towards fighting polio, insisting that the government would not give them any drug that will harm them.
He admonished them to tell their subjects to take the drug, noting that Borno being the citadel of knowledge cannot continue to promote the idea that immunization is targeting at birth reduction.