Ignore Clerics that Preach against Polio Immunisation, Sultan Tells Nigerians

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Mohammed Aminu in Sokoto

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, saturday called on parents in the North to allow their children to be immunised against polio and child killer diseases, and advised them to ignore clerics that preach against vaccination.

Speaking at the flag off of the national immunistation plus days in Wamakko local government area of Sokoto state, the monarch insisted that the polio vaccines are safe and not harmful to children.

He expressed dismay at the attitude of some local clerics that were discouraging households from immunising their children, saying people should not listen to them. According to him, “there is no place in the Quran that stipulates that Muslims should not accept vaccination.”

The monarch insisted that clerics that were in the habit of discouraging people from vaccination should be disregarded.
“You should ignore any cleric that tells you not to allow your children to be vaccinated. Tell him that he is a liar because there is no place in the Quran that stipulates anything against vaccination. In fact, we have travelled to some countries with some prominent clerics and we discovered that the vaccines are safe. If the vaccines are harmful, there is no way we can tell our people to go for immunisation,” the monarch said.

The monarch emphasised that the Sultanate Council was committed to eradicating polio and other child- killer diseases in the country. He called on the state government to provide incentive to entice children to be immunised
In a remark, Governor Aminu Tambuwal reaffirmed the commitment of the state government towards the eradication of polio in the country. He said government would continue to support development partners in the fight against child killer diseases. The governor urged them to do more to eradicate polio in the state.

Also speaking, the Executive Director, National Primary Healthcare Development Agency, Dr. Faisal Shuaibu, said the agency had mapped out four strategic directions to reposition the activities of NPHDA by quickly closing out on polio, strengthening routine immunisation, focused primary healthcare revitalisation and strengthening governance and accountability.

He appealed to governors to release counterpart funds for both polio campaigns and routine immunisation.