Following the reported gruesome murder of nine female anti-polio vaccinators by unidentified gunmen in Unguw Uku area of Kano, the Nigerian Medical Association [NMA] has called on governments in the country to strengthen the protection of health workers in public health facilities.

In a statement by its National President, Dr. Osahon Enabulele, the NMA condemned the murder of the workers, describing it as a reminder of Nigeria’s abysmal state of insecurity, social dislocation and depravity.

“The NMA totally deprecates this unfortunate villainous act of murder, especially coming at a time when Nigeria is struggling very hard to drop her gold medal in polio, being one of three remaining countries where polio is endemic,” he said.  “In 2012, Nigeria was reported to have 121 out of 222 polio cases in the world, way ahead of countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.”

He bemoaned the negative attitude to the vaccination against polio by a section of the country, and called for the intensification of health enlightenment and outreach campaigns in order to demystify the myths surrounding Polio vaccination.

The NMA, Dr. Enabulele said, considers the slain polio vaccinators as heroes in the war against polio in Nigeria and symbols of implementation of the Child Survival Strategies.

Full text of the Press Statement

NMA DECRIES THE MURDER OF FEMALE HEALTH WORKERS/POLIO VACCINATORS IN KANO !!!

It was with deep pain, shock and consternation that the President of the NMA, Dr.Osahon Enabulele, and entire membership of the Nigerian
Medical Association learnt of the cruel murder of innocent female health workers/polio vaccinators in Kano by unknown gunmen, while preparing to commence their assigned duties of administering polio vaccines to the children in the communities of Hotoro and Undwauki respectively.
The NMA totally deprecates this unfortunate villainous act of murder, especially coming at a time when Nigeria is struggling very hard to drop her gold medal in polio, being one of three remaining countries where polio is endemic. In 2012, Nigeria was reported to have 121 out of 222 polio cases in the world, way ahead of countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.
It was therefore a great shock that the female health workers were murdered in the course of vaccinating Nigerian children against polio.

The murder of the female health workers is a further reminder of Nigeria’s abysmal state of insecurity, social dislocation and depravity. It also further exposes the high level of insecurity of healthcare workers in Nigeria, as well as the persisting misconceptions about polio vaccination.

The NMA deeply condoles the families of the slain health workers and all those injured during the shooting incidence, and calls on governments at all levels to step up efforts at redressing the rising state of insecurity, as well as incessant and mind boggling violence and mayhem unleashed on Nigerians on a daily basis.
In particular, NMA calls on government at Federal, State and Local levels to urgently provide greater security cover for healthcare workers in all public health facilities in Nigeria. We restate our earlier call on governments at all levels to provide effective police/security post in all public health facilities in Nigeria.
NMA also calls for intensification of health enlightenment and reach out campaigns to demystify the myths surrounding Polio vaccination.

NMA considers the slain polio vaccinators as heroes in the war against polio in Nigeria and symbols of implementation of the Child Survival
Strategies.

We also deeply commiserate with the Government and people of Kano State over the most unfortunate incidence as well as the Minister of Health and the Minister of State for Health over the tragic murder of these innocent Nigerians/polio vaccinators.

We fervently pray God in his abundant grace, to comfort and strengthen their families and all Nigerians during this admittedly difficult period of mourning.

May God grant the gentle souls of the slain female health workers eternal and peaceful rest in his bosom.  Amen.

Adieu! Adieu!! Adieu!!!

Dr. Osahon Enabulele
President, Nigerian Medical Association

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