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Cameroon Finds Resistance to Polio Vaccination Campaign

Cameroon is ending a polio vaccination campaign against a backdrop of growing resistance, even though officials say 7 percent of Cameroon's children are still at risk of contracting the crippling disease.

Forty-three-year-old Clarisse Tomta has refused to allow vaccination agents to inoculate two of her children – both under 5 years of age. She described the anti-polio campaign as unnecessary.

Tomta said it was becoming suspicious when Cameroon organized so many vaccination campaigns against polio knowing fully well that many mothers were educated enough and master their vaccination calendars.

She said many more Cameroonians died of poverty and should be given more consideration.

Dr. Noulna Desire of Cameroon's expanded vaccination program said despite the resistance, which he said was a result of misinformation, fear and suspicion, they would not stop until they vaccinated the 5 million children age 5 and younger they were targeting.

WHO recommendation

Desire said in spite of the multitude of inoculation campaigns they have organized, more than 7 percent of Cameroonian children were not vaccinated, more than the 5 percent limit the World Health Organization recommends.

He said all children who have not been vaccinated are at risk for contracting polio.

In 2014, the WHO listed Cameroon among the 10 countries with active wild poliovirus, and ranked it among the top four countries posing the greatest threat of exporting the crippling virus to other countries.

In March of 2015 Cameroon attained the status of a "non-polio exporting country" after it hit the six-month mark without a new case.

But the WHO said the central African state is still considered a high-risk nation with pockets of resistance.

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