Nigeria’s Polio Victims & Their Daily Lives

Polio victims Naja Atu Yusif (L) and Adamu Yusif (R), in the courtyard of their primary school in Kano. While Naja can limp, Adamu can’t walk and has to use a tricycle to move around. Kano, Nigeria

 

Writer, Videographer and Documentary Photographer Tadej Znidarcic is the Edge of Humanity Magazine contributor of this social documentary photography.  From his project ‘Living With Polio In Northern Nigeria‘. To see Tadej’s body of work click on any image.

 

Members of Kano Polio Victims Trust Association (KPVTA) praying at their headquarters in Kano. Majority of the population in the north of Nigeria is Muslim. Kano, Nigeria

Members of Kano Polio Victims Trust Association (KPVTA) praying at their headquarters in Kano. Majority of the population in the north of Nigeria is Muslim. Kano, Nigeria

 

A schoolmate carries Adamu Yusif who is unable to walk due to polio to the classroom on the second floor of their primary school in Kano. Buildings and sidewalks in Kano are mostly not adjusted for the physically handicapped. Kano, Nigeria

A schoolmate carries Adamu Yusif who is unable to walk due to polio to the classroom on the second floor of their primary school in Kano. Buildings and sidewalks in Kano are mostly not adjusted for the physically handicapped. Kano, Nigeria

 

Aminu Ahmed Tudun-Wada, chairman of KPVTA, with two of his children at his home in Kano. Umar (R) is his only child affected by polio. Umar was born in 2003 when immunization was boycotted in the State of Kano and its surroundings; he contracted polio few months after his birth. Kano, Nigeria

Aminu Ahmed Tudun-Wada, chairman of KPVTA, with two of his children at his home in Kano. Umar (R) is his only child affected by polio. Umar was born in 2003 when immunization was boycotted in the State of Kano and its surroundings; he contracted polio few months after his birth. Kano, Nigeria

 

In July 2014, Nigeria recorded the last case of wild poliovirus. Polio paralyses its victims and there is no cure for it. The only way to fight it is to vaccinate all the children. If Nigeria can go three years without a new poliovirus case, it will be declared a non-endemic country by the end of July 2017. That’s an immense achievement for a country that in 2008 reported the most new polio cases in the world. The majority of new infections were concentrated around Kano, a major city in the predominantly Muslim north of the country. Once the government, traditional and religious leaders stepped together, the reluctance to vaccinations slowly eroded. Still, thousands of people now live with life-long disabilities caused by polio. Some of the polio victims have self-organized and they continue to inform the public about the importance of immunization, persuade parents to send their crippled children to school and to provide training in different vocational trades to victims who can now earn a living with their work. And for entertainment they invented para-soccer.

 

Members of KPVTA practicing para-soccer. They can reach high speed by sitting on small wooden skateboards and pushing themselves by hands protected by flip-flops. Kano, Nigeria

Members of KPVTA practicing para-soccer. They can reach high speed by sitting on small wooden skateboards and pushing themselves by hands protected by flip-flops. Kano, Nigeria

 

Girl receives polio vaccine in Kaduna, northern Nigeria city, during polio national immunization days (NIDs). During NIDs teams of vaccinators try to reach every child in Nigeria. Kaduna, Nigeria

Girl receives polio vaccine in Kaduna, northern Nigeria city, during polio national immunization days (NIDs). During NIDs teams of vaccinators try to reach every child in Nigeria. Kaduna, Nigeria

 

Women members of KPVTA make a bed sheet at the KPVTA sewing workshop. Bed sheets, women and men clothes are made here for sale in the local market. Kano, Nigeria

Women members of KPVTA make a bed sheet at the KPVTA sewing workshop. Bed sheets, women and men clothes are made here for sale in the local market. Kano, Nigeria

 

Water from a water-well which is located less than a hundred yards from the nearby open dump site runs into a bucket. Well-water like this is found in many neighborhoods of Kano and is used by residents for washing dishes, clothes and bathing. Kano, Nigeria

Water from a water-well which is located less than a hundred yards from the nearby open dump site runs into a bucket. Well-water like this is found in many neighborhoods of Kano and is used by residents for washing dishes, clothes and bathing. Kano, Nigeria

 

Member of KPVTA exits organization's car at the KPVTA headquarters where members meet regularly. Polio victims mostly can't walk and depending on how their limbs were affected by the disease they use different ways to move. Often they use knees and protect their hands with flip-flops. Kano, Nigeria

Member of KPVTA exits organization’s car at the KPVTA headquarters where members meet regularly. Polio victims mostly can’t walk and depending on how their limbs were affected by the disease they use different ways to move. Often they use knees and protect their hands with flip-flops. Kano, Nigeria

 

A motorbike drives by the tricycles that are for sale at the KPVTA headquarters. Because the polio victims can't use their legs to pedal, tricycles are constructed in a way that they can be operated by hands. Kano, Nigeria

A motorbike drives by the tricycles that are for sale at the KPVTA headquarters. Because the polio victims can’t use their legs to pedal, tricycles are constructed in a way that they can be operated by hands. Kano, Nigeria

 

Legs of a man who contracted polio in his childhood. Polio is a highly infectious disease that is caused by a virus and spreads by ingesting contaminated food or sewage-infected water. In most cases polio paralyzes one or both legs of the victim which also prevents the normal development of muscles. Kano, Nigeria

Legs of a man who contracted polio in his childhood. Polio is a highly infectious disease that is caused by a virus and spreads by ingesting contaminated food or sewage-infected water. In most cases polio paralyzes one or both legs of the victim which also prevents the normal development of muscles. Kano, Nigeria

 

See also:

eRwanda

By Tadej Znidarcic

 


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