Polio Eradication : “There Is Resistance, But Many People Listen To Me”
Cameroonian star rapper, Stanley Enow, held a press conference in Yaounde on September 10, 2020 to close a three-day tour to raise awareness on polio vaccination.
The United Nations Children’s Fund, UNICEF Cameroon National Ambassador, star Hip-hop artiste, Stanley Enow, from September 8-10, 2020, undertook a tour of the Littoral and Centre Regions to promote polio vaccination. He rounded up the tour with a press conference in the UNICEF office in Bastos, Yaounde on September 10, 2020. The event was also attended by UNICEF Cameroon Country Representative, Jacques Boyer and his colleague from the World Health Organisation, WHO, Dr Habimana Phanuel.
Stanley Enow said he considers himself a child still growing up and would want to see other children grow up in good health. “I will like to see my young fans continue to dance and jump to my music. But they can only do so if they have not been crippled by polio,” he noted. “A nation in good health should also have children in good health,” Stanley continued.
He urged women to get their children vaccinated against polio and not to pay attention to rumours about vaccination. “I am ready to join UNICEF to sensitise the public on child education anywhere in the country,” he promised. “As UNICEF National Ambassador, I believe in what I do. I understand there is some resistance against polio vaccination, but my advantage is that people listen to me and I have a huge following,” Stanley assured.
Earlier in his introductory remarks, Jacques Boyer cautioned that the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic has not killed other diseases. Rather, there has been a drop in hospital attendance and routine vaccination. Dr Habimana Phanuel said Africa made huge progress in eradicating wild polio virus on August 25, 2020. He recalled that there were 75,000 wild polio cases on the continent in 1996; disclosing that a strategic combination of routine vaccination, vaccination campaigns and monitoring of suspected cases was employed to arrive at this result.
The WHO Cameroon chief however warned that there were still cases of wild polio in elsewhere in the world - Pakistan and Afghanistan. Until the virus is eradicated in these remaining countries, the rest of the world where it has been eliminated will continue to carry out polio vaccination to prevent resurgence or the importation of new cases, he said. Dr Habimana also disclosed that polio vaccination coverage in Cameroon has over the years been poor – oscillating around 50 per cent; saying the ideal is to have at least 90 per cent coverage.