And why do they battle it? Because in Nigeria word spread that the polio vaccine was an anti-Muslim plot. And now polio has spread from Nigeria to Yemen. Isn’t this a cue for the Vast Majority of Moderate Muslims to endorse the polio vaccine and condemn anti-American conspiracy paranoia? Ibrahim? Nihad? Anyone? Anyone?
From AP, with thanks to Sr. Soph:
AZ ZUHRAH, Yemen – Ahmed Ali Taher laid his wailing granddaughter in the shade of a barn, held out her limp legs and pleaded for a miracle. In this dirt-poor region along the Red Sea, 1-year-old Ismaa is one of hundreds of Yemeni children struck down this year by polio “” four years after the country thought it had beaten the disease forever.
“We’ve had Rift Valley Fever, dengue fever and malaria. But polio is the worst thing to ever hit our village,” said Taher, who believes he is over 70 years old, but has no birth records to be sure. “Some might have died from the others, but then their suffering is over. Polio leaves children paralyzed like this, with no hope.”
Yemen got rid of polio once “” for a period of four years after the last case was reported in 2001. But since late February, more than 470 Yemeni children have been hit with the disease, more than one-third of the total 1,273 cases detected worldwide this year.
The Yemen cases all stem from an outbreak in Nigeria two years ago, which occurred after Islamic clerics urged parents to boycott the vaccine for fear it was part of an American anti-Muslim plot. The polio that then erupted in Nigeria spread first to Chad, then to nearby Sudan “” and then across the Red Sea into Saudi Arabia and Yemen.