Nigerian state vaccinations defy attack fears

October 4, 2013 GMT

KANO, Nigeria (AP) — Nigeria’s northern Kano state is starting to vaccinate 3 million children against polio and measles with tight security because of fears of attack by Islamic extremists.

Militants staging an Islamic uprising in northeastern Nigeria in February killed nine women health workers as they were vaccinating children in a house-to-house campaign in Kano city.

Dr. Shehu Usman Abubakar told The Associated Press on Friday that this time the vaccinations will be administered at 2,700 community centers — apparently ensuring more protection. Abubakar is executive secretary for primary health care.

He said 200 children died of measles in Kano state last year.

UNICEF says Nigeria has almost eradicated crippling polio. But northeast Borno state recorded 14 new cases in recent months. Officials blamed the Islamic insurgency for the lost ground.