Monkey Pox: Borno schools reopen after panic closure

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Borno state governor Shettima

By Hamza Suleiman

Borno Government on Thursday said it had reopened primary schools it shut following confusion on rumour of immunisation against monkey pox disease because all was now calm.

The state’s Commissioner for Education, Alhaji Inuwa Kubo, made this known at a news conference in Maiduguri.

Pandemonium erupted in schools when stories circulated in Maiduguri, alleging that pupils would be immunised with contaminated monkey pox vaccine.

The rumour peddled widely in the metropolis and parents rushed to evacuate their children from schools.

In the ensuing scuffle, teachers at Sanda Kyarimi, Gwange I and III primary schools locked their gates behind desperate parents who forced the gate open to free their wards.

Hundreds of pupils who found their way out in the affected schools were seen crying; while some parents muzzled as they could not locate their children amid the confusion.

The education commission said “no responsible government would allow anybody to go into schools to conduct inoculation without its consent.”

Kubo, who described the incident as unfortunate, said parents should understand that it was the responsibility of government to protect their children and wards against any danger.

He added that “even if there was problem, parents do not have the right to storm schools to withdraw their children. It was very unfortunate that some mischievous individuals were using schools to cause havoc.

“Schools in Borno were shut for a very long time; we reopened not long ago; it was sad that some individuals were working to reverse our successes.”

Dr Sule Mele, the Executive Director of Borno Primary Health Care Development Agency, said people should disregard the rumour “because there is no iota of truth in it.”

Mele, also the Head of Coordination on Immunisation in Borno, said the only vaccination going on was that of oral polio.

He said the agency was working with traditional rulers to launch another polio campaign in November.

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