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This study examines the impact of socio-cultural factors on the implementation of the National Policy on Polio Eradication in Sabon Gari Local Government Area of Kaduna State, from 2003 to 3012. This is based on the belief that Nigeria, being one of the polio endemic countries in the world, has been attempting to eradicate polio disease for over a decade but this has proved difficult. This is partly due to the crisis in its policy environment as a result of the rejection and resistance to the programme. The crisis perhaps ensued as a result of the policy’s non-conformity with socio-cultural dispositions of the people as well as the prevalence of other factors such as poverty, hunger and crisis of governance among other things. Since 2003, rejection and resistance have been the features of the process of polio eradication. Three survey instruments were used to collect the primary data and the secondary data was collected using documentary method. The data was quantitatively and qualitatively presented and analysed through triangulation method. System theory is adopted as a theoretical framework. Its adoption is informed due to the fact that polio is an incapacitating disease that afflicts the Nigerian society and requires government action through the political system in terms inputs, conversion process and output. The study found that, though socio-cultural factors impacted on the process of polio eradication in the study area. Other factors such as government’s negligence of the overall development issues in the study area also affect the implementation effort of the government. In view of this, the study recommends that elaborate sensitisation campaign and mobilisation should be carried out by the community and religious leaders. Also, government should address some basic and fundamental development issues, so as to meet the needs and aspirations of people of the local government.
CHAPTER ONE GENERAL INTRODUCTION
1.1 Background to the Study
The significance of policy implementation in the policy process can never be
overemphasised. This is because policy implementation is a stage that accomplishes the actual
decision made at the beginning of policy making process. The aim of any policy package is
perhaps to produce fully-fledged outcomes at the end of its implementation. In this regard,
certain structures and institutions are put in place for successful implementation. Irrespective of
the nature of the structures and institutions, what is required from them is their function for the
realisation of the policy objectives.
The realisation of the policy objectives is normally hampered and challenged by a variety of
factors. These factors are multi-dimensional in nature and perhaps affect implementation process
in multi-dimensional ways. Some of these factors are believed to be environmental which can be
physical, natural, economic and socio-cultural. It is, however, argued that socio-cultural factors
of the policy environment have become worthy of consideration in the process of policy
However, the major concern of this study is the socio-cultural factors which encompass the
general way of life of people and belief systems in terms of religious value system, artifacts,
symbols, family and language. These factors as captured by Armenakis and Kiefer (2007) are the
interacting elements of the policy environment that determine or influence the implementation of
certain policies. Policies or programmes that are meant for people have to be accepted by them
and to be in conformity with their culture and social values. People and their culture constitute
part of policy environment and are supposed to be directors of their affairs in terms of
It is in line with this that Sprout and Sprout (1967) warn policy makers and implementers to
consider policy environment in the process of policy making and implementation. As a result of
the negligence of such warning, Nigeria has been failing to have successful implementation of
some policies. One of such policies that became very tendentious was the population policy of
the 1980s, which created serious controversy due to the fact that it was not in conformity with
the socio-cultural dispositions of the Nigerian people. Another policy that creates serious storms
is the National Policy on Polio Eradication which came up after the declaration on the survival,
protection and development of children as articulated at the 49th World Health Assembly (WHA)
in 1988. This declaration was reinforced during the 1990s World Summit for children that took
place in New York (National Immunisation Policy, 2009).
Nigeria, being a signatory to this declaration has been committed to have achieved polio
eradication. It adopts different strategies and commits a lot of resources for the eradication of the
disease, but hitherto, it is yet to be eradicated due to rejection and resistance to the programme.
However, 2003 marked the beginning of massive resistance to oral polio vaccine (OPV) by some
of the political, traditional and religious leaders of the northern part of the country. This
resistance led to the total stoppage of the programme and continued re-infection of the disease
within and outside the country.
In 2006, among the four (4) polio endemic countries that were known as PAIN states
(Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and Nigeria) in the World, Nigeria alone accounted for over 50%
of the globally reported cases of the disease. However, cases of polio continued to be reported
especially in many states of the Northern part of Nigeria (Kabir et al, 2006). Kano State
constituted the most prone to poliomyelitis due to the suspension of the immunisation process.
Although the Kaduna State Government did not suspend polio immunisation in totality, some
residents voiced opposition to mass polio immunisations and Western involvement in the
Nigerian immunisation campaigns, especially in Northern part of the State which comprises the
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