The Kenyan opposition leader, Raila Odinga has sparked renewed debate over tetanus vaccines in the east African country claiming on Monday that the vaccine makes women infertile, backing the Catholic Church’s rejection of the vaccines.
Mr. Odinga said the Kenyan government deliberately sterilized thousands of women and girls in the guise of tetanus vaccination thereby causing infertility in these women.
He commended the Catholic Church for opposing the vaccines saying “Tests results in our possession indicate that some of the women who got this vaccination have since sought further tests and obtained results indicating that they can never carry a pregnancy unless a process of reversing the effects is initiated.”
Mr. Odinga told the media in the capital Nairobi, that the government should publish the list of all those who took part in the vaccination and apologise to them for the effect of the vaccination.
“This was a deliberate action on the part of the government and it should apologise to all those who were vaccinated and explain to them how it intends to reverse the damage,” Mr Odinga said.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nation Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) have condemned the claims of Mr. Odinga by expressing “deep’’ regret on his comments.
In a joint statement on Monday the two global bodies said Mr. Odinga “allegations are not backed by evidence, and risk negatively impacting national immunisation programmes for children and women,”
But Mr Odinga said analysis of samples used for the tetanus vaccination from highly regarded institutions indicate that it had high contents of beta human hCG that causes infertility.
“Today, we can confirm to the country that the Catholic Church was right. Thousands of our girls and women aged between 14 and 49 will not have children because of the State-sponsored sterilisation that was sold to the country as tetanus vaccination,” Mr Odinga said.