Health Lake Chad Basin Stabilization

The mother of all questions

women at hospital

“Immunisation is just an attempt to stop us from giving birth.”

So said a resident of Mafoni in Maiduguri in Borno State. She said immunisation was a modern concept and she did not think it was necessary.

“When we fall sick and go to the hospital even paracetamol is not free of charge let alone an operation. Immunisation is unimportant because it is just an attempt to stop us from giving birth,” she said.

Immunisation “is not good”. She said when women went to the hospital, they were asked to buy a form and fill it out.

“Immunisation is a deliberate attempt to reduce our reproductive capacity,” she said.

Zainab Abubakar said she did not go for immunisation because her husband was against the idea.


“I have three children and none of them have been immunised. My husband’s family doesn’t like anything to do with the hospital,” she said.

Abubakar said that when her children fell ill she applied traditional medicine to treat them.

But not everyone agreed.

Zainab Maidugu at Shehuri in Maiduguri said she believed it was important to get children immunised and she had taken her daughter to get the necessary inoculations.

She said all parents should do what they could to protect their children.

Maidugu said that when she gave birth she had taken her baby for immunisation for the required nine months – it has since been extended to 12 months.

She said that, since the immunisation, her children had become healthier and stronger: “They are free from fever and other illnesses. It does not harm children and it is done free of charge.”

Aisha Umar of Mafoni in Maiduguri believed that routine immunisation was good. She said her two-week-old baby had already been treated and she intended to continue to until the experts said the baby no longer needed to be immunised.

A specialist from Yerwa Polyclinic in Maiduguri Babagana Usman Barma, said routine immunisation “is very important” for newly born babies especially if they were immunised shortly after delivery.

He said that many mothers complained that their babies had difficulties after being immunised – including continual crying for a day – and that stopped them from treating their babies.

But Barma said crying was “simply a reaction” and should not stop mothers from having their babies immunised.

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