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Laulajainen said that noncompliance is probably the least prominent reason why children are not vaccinated, but it becomes a problem in a situation where the goal is a polio-free society.
"We have to make sure we capture every single child," he said. "Because if one child is not protected against polio, he or she can get the virus and spread it very quickly to other children in the community."
He said a collaboration with religious leaders has been particularly fruitful over the years and that health workers have used a variety of communication tools such as drama, radio, street theater, town criers and strong visuals to remind parents that polio will keep lurking until it's wiped out.
"There are so few cases in Nigeria now, so it's possible that caregivers feel, 'it's no threat to my child' or 'I've never seen or heard a case,'" he said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
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