Giving Compass’ Take:
• Shobana Shankar at The Conversation argues that Nigeria’s highly mobilized efforts to eliminate polio can teach America how to reverse the increase in measles cases and help with vaccination purposes.
• How can Nigeria help be a guided example for other countries in Africa? What can funders do to influence policy changes at a state level when it comes to measles vaccines?
To consider that Nigeria, infamous for anti-vaxx campaigns leading to polio outbreaks, has any lessons for Americans may be shocking.
But as measles cases in the U.S. climb to an all-time high after the disease was declared eliminated in 2000, U.S. public health officials have been looking for ways to address the problem.
As a researcher on religious politics and health, I believe that Nigeria’s highly mobilized efforts to eliminate polio can teach America how to reverse the increase in measles cases and shore up its public health infrastructure. Working with international partners, Nigerians have combated misinformation, suspicion of vaccine science and religion-based boycotts to go from ground zero for polio on the African continent in 2003 to nearly polio-free in 2019.
When the Global Polio Eradication Initiative (GPEI) was established in 1988 with the goal of complete eradication by 2000, several countries could not meet the target.
Read the full article about Nigerian vaccination by Shobana Shankar at The Conversation.
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