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Niger State Arrests 120 Persons For Rejecting Polio Vaccine
The Niger State Government has arrested 120 persons for refusing to immunise their children against polio, as part of efforts to enforce the law that forbids rejection of the polio vaccine.
The Director of the State Primary Health Care Development Agency, Shehu Yabagi, told newsmen in Minna that the arrested persons were those who had consistently opposed the polio vaccine immunisation exercise in the state.
Yabagi said some of the suspects had already been arraigned before various courts in the state, while some of them had been convicted and compelled to pay a fine for their actions.
He said the state government had also sent another bill to the state assembly to make any cleric who preaches against the acceptance of the polio vaccines in the state to be jailed or pay huge fine.
The director said that the agency had embarked on the cross-border immunisation exercise in a bid to halt any further transmission of the disease.
Niger State is one of the only nine States struggling to stamp out the virus from the country so as to meet the World Health Organsation, WHO, target of a polio-free globe by 2014.
The other states are: Borno, Adamawa, Kano, Gombe, Nasarawa, Bauchi, Yobe and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT.
Yabagi said his agency would continue to work hard to ensure that polio was eradicated in the state and, by extension, the whole country through advocacy and enforcement of the various laws enacted by the state government.