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UNICEF, Rotary Launch Speaking Books To End Polio


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By Abiose Adelaja Adams

The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF, in collaboration with Rotary International, a humanitarian organisation, on Friday launched an enlightenment material to mark the World Polio Day celebrated every October 24.

Rotary International Polio Ambassador to Nigeria, Emeka Offor, donated 15,000 copies of the material, a speaking book titled “Yes to Health…No to Polio”, in Abuja.

“This innovative educational tool is to inform local and vulnerable communities in Nigeria about the importance of vaccination, maintaining a clean environment, and hand washing in order to help eradicate polio,” he said.

UNICEF on the other hand will carry out the distribution of the books to 100 households in Kano and some other northern States through its Volunteer Community
Mobilisers.

Explaining the motive, which is to contribute to the END POLIO NOW campaign, Offor projected thus; “It is expected that this book will impact on 1.5 million people with messaging that will be seen, read and understood.”

Nigeria remains one of the three countries in the world (Afghanistan and Pakistan are the other two) still battling with the polio virus.

However, there has been remarkable progress in the ‘End Polio Campaign’, as Nigeria’s total case count for 2014 remains only 6, according to the Global Polio Eradication Initiative statistics.

“The most recent case had onset of paralysis on 24 July in Sumaila Local Government Area (LGA), southern Kano state,” the Initiative reports on its website.

The Speaking Book contains 16 pages of easy to understand text, illustrations, and a sound track recorded in Hausa and English.

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Polio is a vaccine-preventable viral disease, affects the spinal cord causing weakness in the muscle and eventual paralysis.

It mostly affects infants and young children and spreads faster in poor hygiene conditions. Poverty, illiteracy and religious ideologies had been obstacles to complete eradication in Nigeria despite huge spendings, awareness and aggressive immunizations.

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