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Monday, September 25, 2023

Losing The Pandemic War Before It Started

Sometime in 20013, about a decade after some Islamic characters in northern Nigeria began a bitter campaign against the polio vaccination, about 9 polio vaccinators were gruesomely attacked and shot dead in Kano State, leading to the suspension of the immunisation exercise.

Those who spearheaded the campaign told their people that the polio vaccines were deliberately introduced to reduce the fertility of the north, this was a well rehearsed lie, which later caused a lot of devastation to the health of the people; the reason why as at that time polio was still very endemic in Nigeria.

As at 2004, when the Kano state government renegotiated the resumption of the immunization exercise, so much damage had been done. The wild poliovirus had spread internationally from the north since the vaccination was stopped the previous year, leading to the reinfection of scores of countries in Africa: https://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/notes/2004/np16/en/

Covid-19 Pandemic

History they say has a way of repeating itself. While the world is cringing at the outbreak of the pandemic and some are putting together efforts and expertise to contain its spread through developing vaccines, some characters are at it again, using outright manipulations and falsehood, claiming that some notable international figures have warned Africans against accepting the vaccines (vaccines that are yet to be created).

I am not as bothered with their concocted lies as I am with persons, who are supposed to know better, helping to share the falsehood. So someone in this age and time can still believe that the would be vaccines against the deadly Covid-19 is an infertility ploy against Africa? Of course, whatever their intentions are (most times with this social media craze, is the desire to attract several visits to their handles), they have failed in this mission.

We owe ourselves the responsibility to STOP the spread of this falsehood. Just like when the poliovirus disease spread into hitherto virus free countries, after the vaccines were suspended in the North, so we will all be at risk of reinfection (can I hear a God forbid) if we do not join hands to stop the Covid-19 and promote usage of the vaccines when it eventually arrives.

Who is against regulating social media, I am not. We must get all those who become willing tools at spreading falsehood out of the social media…do we even have intelligence gathering, somebody should act fast before some characters plunge us back into avoidable crisis. Whatsapp group admins must rise to the occasion.

An editor has the responsibility of determining what content come on their platforms, whatsapp group admins must also take charge of their platforms. Control what your members are fed with, most of those fake news spread through group platforms. If you can’t stand the heat, get off the kitchen.

Oh, how I remember how some influential members of our society said when the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Nigetia, “there is no coronavirus anywhere in Nigeria; its a hoax.” Good they now publicly campaign against it, they now see the virus so close to to where they are. Imagine, if that crap they attempted to promote was embraced by the people, what would have become of us today.

Don’t be too quick to be on the social media for the wrong reason… History will never forget the role you played.

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