Aminu Ahmed Tudun-Wada (Kano, Nigeria) is the chairman of the Polio Victims Trust Association and an active advocate of immunisation.
Aminu recalls being carried to school by his parents when he was young, but that came to an end when he became too heavy to carry. The lack of a wheelchair or tricycle denied Aminu the chance to complete his education – and it has since fueled his determination to ensure that other young polio survivors don’t suffer the same fate.
Motivated to change the realities faced by underprivileged children with disabilities, Aminu enrolled at technical school to learn how to make tricycles. He now manufactures and sells them at an affordable price.
“Now, if you see a polio survivor, you will see him with a tricycle. If nobody made these tricycles, no polio victims could go to school. I don't want them to leave school like I had to,” explains Aminu.
Although Aminu promotes immunization among men and women, it is women – as the primary caregivers of children – who are a priority audience for Aminu. He visits hospitals to speak to mothers, as part of his outreach.
Aminu and his fellow association members also work hard to dispel the myths about immunization that have circulated in communities for many years.
“We sit down and convince people word by word, step by step. Look at us, we say… so immunize your children!”
That Aminu’s approach is effective is evident in his association’s growth. Since its beginnings in Kano, more branches have opened in Lagos, Sokoto, Jigawa, Kaduna and Kasena.
“My dream is to see polio eradicated in Nigeria,’ adds Aminu. ‘It’s on the way… for 21 months we haven’t had any new cases of polio.”