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President Olusegun Obasanjo of Nigeria is expected to try to persuade the Muslim states in the country's north to allow a second phase of polio vaccinations to proceed, say officials of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Traditional leaders in the north boycotted the first round of WHO's polio vaccination campaign for West Africa, saying the oral vaccine caused sterility and spread AIDS. In the region, only Nigeria failed to meet safe immunisation levels following the first phase of vaccinations.

A WHO spokesman stressed that the solution must be a Nigerian one, involving the president and the federal government.

Link to full news story in the British Medical Journal

Reference: BMJ 328, 544 (2004)