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nigeria's boko haram extremists hamper polio eradication

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nigeria's boko haram extremists hamper polio eradication

maiduguri, nigeria — islamic extremists made imana alhaji gana's village in northeastern nigeria too dangerous for health workers to vaccinate against polio. now that she and her family have fled to a displacement camp, those workers want to catch her children in time.here in the camps housing thousands of families seeking safety from the extremists, health teams are going from tent to tent, inoculating youngsters against the disease that withers limbs and disables children for life.at first, gana is afraid to let the outreach workers vaccinate her baby. eventually they persuade her that the three-week-old child is not too young for immunization, which can take place as early as the day of birth.the complicated fight against polio is yet another way the nigeria-based extremist group boko haram has disrupted life in the northeast, leaving children vulnerable to an entirely preventable disease."when such children come to the camps or host communities they become a threat to other children," said almai some, the field coordinator in borno state for the vaccination campaign run by rotary.some of the families arriving are from areas where polio vaccinators have not been able to visit for as long as six years.boko haram's insurgency began in maiduguri, borno state's capital, but its reach has expanded beyond nigeria's borders to neighboring niger, chad and cameroon. its violence has proved to be a major setback to the international campaign against polio.nigeria is one of j...