Communication is a critical component in assuring that children are fully immunized and that simultaneous immunity is attained and maintained across large geographic areas for disease eradication and control initiatives. If service delivery is of good quality and outreach to the population is active, effective communication—through advocacy, social mobilization, and program communication (including behavior change activities and interpersonal communication)—will assist in raising awareness, creating and sustaining demand, preventing or dispelling misinformation and doubts, encouraging acceptance of and participation in vaccination services, more rapid reporting of disease cases and outbreaks, and mobilizing financial resources to support immunization efforts. There is evidence of 12% to 20% or more increases in the absolute level of immunization coverage and 33% to 100% increases in relative coverage compared to baselines when communication is included as a key component of immunization strengthening. This research utilizes evidence from Nigeria to examine how the communication system can help in Polio Eradication and evaluation data to focus and improve the quality and impact of communication activities.


1.0     Introduction

Communication, we know, does not exist in a vacuum. It is part of a total life environment, it is conditioned by a country's economy, technological infrastructure, politics, socio-cultural traditions and goals, and its basic vision of society, or ideology. All this affects the media in a direct way. They, in turn, can have some effect on these conditions, at least by creating awareness. In addition, conditions are changing, often fast, and, alas, not always for the better.

This article attempts to sketch a very broad overview of the problems and prospects of African communication. The observations made in it are based on practical experience, and, in part, on reports about communication in Africa. But they are in no way complete. Rather, they want to identify certain trends which seem to be emerging. Conclusions which can be drawn from them are, therefore, necessarily provisional and tentative.

1.1     Background of the Study

Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. In about 0.5% of cases there is muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move.[1] This can occur over a few hours to few days.[1][2] The weakness most often involves the legs but may less commonly involve the muscles of the head, neck and diaphragm. Many but not all people fully recover. In those with muscle weakness about 2% to 5% of children and 15% to 30% of adults die.[Atkinson W, Hamborsky J, 2009] Another 25% of people have minor symptoms such as fever and a sore throat and up to 5% have headache, neck stiffness and pains in the arms and legs.[ Wolfe S, eds. (2009)]These people are usually back to normal within one or two weeks. In up to 70% of infections there are no symptoms.[1] Years after recovery post-polio syndrome may occur, with a slow development of muscle weakness similar to that which the person had during the initial infection.[NIH. April 16, 2014]

Poliovirus is usually spread from person to person through infected fecal matter entering the mouth.[Atkinson W, Hamborsky J] It may also be spread by food or water containing human feces and less commonly from infected saliva.[1][2] Those who are infected may spread the disease for up to six weeks even if no symptoms are present. The disease may be diagnosed by finding the virus in the feces or detecting antibodies against it in the blood. The disease only occurs naturally in humans.[Atkinson W, Hamborsky J, 2009]

The disease is preventable with the polio vaccine; however, a number of doses are required for it to be effective.[ October 2014] The United States Center for Disease Control recommends polio vaccination boosters for travelers and those who live in countries where the disease is occurring.[4] Once infected there is no specific treatment.[2] In 2015 polio affected less than 100 people down from 350,000 cases in 1988.[World Health Organisation. 2016-01-06][WHO.INT. October 2014] In 2014 the disease was only spreading between people in Afghanistan, Nigeria, and Pakistan.[Poliomyelitis Fact sheet] In 2015 Nigeria had stopped the spread of wild poliovirus.[ Retrieved 2015-09-28]

Poliomyelitis has existed for thousands of years, with depictions of the disease in ancient art.[ Wolfe S, eds. (2009)] The disease was first recognized as a distinct condition by Michael Underwood in 1789[1] and the virus that causes it was first identified in 1908 by Karl Landsteiner. [Daniel, Thomas M.; Robbins, Frederick C., eds. (1999)] Major outbreaks started to occur in the late 19th century in Europe and the United States. In the 20th century it became one of the most worrying childhood diseases in these areas.[Wheeler, Derek S.; Wong, Hector R. (2009)] The first polio vaccine was developed in the 1950s by Jonas Salk.[Aylward R (2006)] It is hoped that vaccination efforts and early detection of cases will result in global eradication of the disease by 2018.[WHO].

Polio can strike at any age, but it mainly affects children under five years old.

Polio is spread through person-to-person contact. When a child is infected with wild poliovirus, the virus enters the body through the mouth and multiplies in the intestine. It is then shed into the environment through the faeces where it can spread rapidly through a community, especially in situations of poor hygiene and sanitation. If a sufficient number of children are fully immunized against polio, the virus is unable to find susceptible children to infect, and dies out.

Young children who are not yet toilet-trained are a ready source of transmission, regardless of their environment. Polio can be spread when food or drink is contaminated by faeces. There is also evidence that flies can passively transfer poliovirus from faeces to food.

Most people infected with the poliovirus have no signs of illness and are never aware they have been infected. These symptomless people carry the virus in their intestines and can “silently” spread the infection to thousands of others before the first case of polio paralysis emerges.

For this reason, WHO considers a single confirmed case of polio paralysis to be evidence of an epidemic – particularly in countries where very few cases occur.

Poliomyelitis is highly contagious via the fecal-oral (intestinal source) and the oral-oral (oropharyngeal source) routes.[ Gourville E, Dowdle W, Pallansch M (2005)] In endemic areas, wild polioviruses can infect virtually the entire human population.[Parker SP, ed. (1998)] It is seasonal in temperate climates, with peak transmission occurring in summer and autumn.[Dowdle W, Pallansch M (2005)] These seasonal differences are far less pronounced in tropical areas.[Parker SP, ed. (1998)] The time between first exposure and first symptoms, known as the incubation period, is usually 6 to 20 days, with a maximum range of three to 35 days.[Racaniello V (2006)] Virus particles are excreted in the feces for several weeks following initial infection.[Racaniello V (2006)] The disease is transmitted primarily via the fecal-oral route, by ingesting contaminated food or water. It is occasionally transmitted via the oral-oral route, a mode especially visible in areas with good sanitation and hygiene.[ Gourville E, Dowdle W, Pallansch M (2005)] Polio is most infectious between seven and 10 days before and after the appearance of symptoms, but transmission is possible as long as the virus remains in the saliva or feces.[Ohri, Linda K.; Jonathan G. Marquess (1999)]

Factors that increase the risk of polio infection or affect the severity of the disease include immune deficiency,[ Price D, Butler I, Vickers J (1977)] malnutrition,[ Chandra R (14 June 1975)] physical activity immediately following the onset of paralysis,[Horstmann D (1950)] skeletal muscle injury due to injection of vaccines or therapeutic agents,[Gromeier M, Wimmer E (1998)] and pregnancy.[Evans C (1960)] Although the virus can cross the maternal-fetal barrier during pregnancy, the fetus does not appear to be affected by either maternal infection or polio vaccination.[Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation] Maternal antibodies also cross the placenta, providing passive immunity that protects the infant from polio infection during the first few months of life.[Groh A, Bischoff A, Prager J, Wutzler P (2002)]

1.2     Statement of Research

Polio is a disease that hit the African country, and it’s still ravishing the our children most especially, this disease has a cure or its prevention, yet it is still killing our young ones and children out of the community ignorance to some certain information, as said by Okeke Abina (2002) that “information is wealth”, therefore, due to lack of adequate information reaching the hands of the target, it can results to lose of lives. The researcher has discovered that due to lack of communication channel and flow polio disease has remain with us here in Nigeria and has continue to spread to every citizens within the locality.

1.3     Objectives of the Research

Having in mind the problem of this research work, the objectives is therefore, set forward. This research work will be looking at polio eradication campaign through our communication system which is the African means. With the following objectives or goals.

Enlighten the importance of education campaign on polio disease within our community. Access the means through with polio can be eradicated from our community through one of the African communication system. Create awareness of the disease polio in the peoples mind and its preventive measures.

1.4     Research questions

In caring out this research work, some of the following questions were designed to guide this work for a better understanding and comprehension.

Are you aware of the disease called polio? Do you know there are preventives measures to the so called disease? If you are aware and know about the preventions, which means where you educated about it?  Have there been any campaign on polio disease in your community? Are there children in your community that are contaminated with the poliovirus worm or disease?

1.5     Research hypothesis

The researcher formed two research hypothesis which will be tested in the course off this study, for the support of the research work or not, this test will be carried out using 0.5 significance difference using the chi-square method of test.

Hypothesis one

Hnull Polio disease cannot be eradicated through the use of our African communication system

Hypothesis two

Halt African communication system has no significance effect to the eradication campaign or awareness of the polio disease within our community.

Hnull African communication system has a significance effect to the eradication campaign or awareness of the polio disease within our community.

1.6     Significance of the Study

This thesis is significant in various ways to various sectors, as will be seen below; Studies in this subject have exhaustively pin pointed the negative impact of neglecting the flow of communication in a system on the society, which no doubt has so far affected the peace and stability of the international community. it will present in a precise manner, the importance of communication to the eradication of polio disease and some other communicable disease with prevention on how to deal about it. It is believed that the findings of this research work should provide detailed information on how to tackle with the issue of communication in our nation. It is also expected that the study will be of benefit to all the citizens of this country, as it will create awareness of the implication of lack of communication in our country Nigeria.

It is possible that by the outcome off this research that polio will reduce in a great number from the communities.

The research will also be beneficial to the researcher. This is because the study will expose the researcher to so many related areas in the course of carrying out his research. This will enhance the researcher’s experience, knowledge and understanding on the polio, communication skill.

1.7     Scope of the Study

The scope of this research work will only cover the people within Gboko LGA. This focus will be on the communication system and its effect in connection to the eradication of diseases in our community, diseases like polio which is the primary focus of this study.

1.8     Limitations of the Study

The research work may be faced with time & fund constraints being an academic based research. The time allocated for this study is not enough as in combining the work on this study with daily academics routine. Also, the study will be limited to some areas due to the problems of funds, shortage of texts, journals and information relevant to the study.

Finance: The money the researcher has may not be adequate for the project and it will make her unable to go far and  wide, and to subscribe to get information that are needed for the project.

Time: It is another problem because a specific time was given to the researcher for the execution of this project, the work may be rushed to meet up with time given and he may not have enough time to relax and do the work perfectly.

Movement: During the collection of data due to the bad roads in the area the researcher’s movements to the remotest parts of the community may be hindered.

Non-compliance: Some of the people will not be polite enough to answer questions when asked and many of them may not comply with the researcher leading to difficulties in gathering of answers from the respondents.

Illiteracy: The quality of the response may be adversely influenced by the level of education of the respondents.

1.9     Definition of Terms

Communication: is the process of passing onto another the knowledge or idea you have to his understanding and comprehension.

Polio: Poliomyelitis, often called polio or infantile paralysis, is an infectious disease caused by the poliovirus. In about 0.5% of cases there is muscle weakness resulting in an inability to move.

Eradication: is the process of act of bringing to an end a situation or an epidemic 

Campaign: is a public show or notification by creating awareness of an issues of events.

Disease: is an outbreak of illness that causes the body system to malfunction or work effectively.


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Gorson KC, Ropper AH (September 2001). "Nonpoliovirus poliomyelitis simulating Guillain-Barré syndrome". Archives of Neurology 58 (9): 1460–4. doi:10.1001/archneur.58.9.1460. PMID 11559319.

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