MSU researchers travel to Nigeria to help with polio situation

Dec 28, 2010

A team of Michigan State University researchers is spending the next month in northern  Nigeria looking at what the media can do to stem a surging polio outbreak.

 The region has the highest number of confirmed polio cases in the world and the outbreak has been spreading through west Africa.

 Folu Ogundimu is an associate professor of journalism at MSU.   He says the problem is local religious leaders and others are fighting efforts to get people vaccinated against polio.  He says they claim it’s just a western plot to spread the AIDS virus or sterilize Muslim women.

 The researchers hope to develop a media plan to convince people in northern Nigeria to accept the polio vaccine.

 The MSU team left for Nigeria this weekend. They are scheduled to return to East Lansing at the end of January.