Government ready for joint tetanus vaccine tests

November 12, 2014 12:10 pm
Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the tests will allay fears by the Church. Photo/FILE
Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia said the tests will allay fears by the Church. Photo/FILE

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 12 – Health Cabinet Secretary James Macharia says plans are already underway to conduct joint tests on the tetanus vaccine with all stakeholders including the Catholic Church.

Macharia said Wednesday that the analysis will be carried out within the course of next week to identify the vaccine samples and allay fears that it is harmful to women’s reproductive health.

He explained that testing will be undertaken at the Kenya Medical Research Institute in a bid to dispel the dispute surrounding the vaccine.

“I was in Naivasha on Saturday launching the polio vaccine and I announced that we shall be having a joint exercise with not just the Catholic Church but all stakeholders to make sure that people get confidence that indeed what we are saying is true. Already, that committee has been formed and they had their first meeting on Monday,” he said.

His statement followed an order by the National Assembly Committee on Health on Tuesday for an investigation into the vaccine which the Catholic Church claimed was being used to secretly sterilise women.

Macharia however expressed optimism that the exercise will lay to rest any reservations on the inoculation especially by the Church.

“Within the next week or so, we will be able to jointly identify the vaccine samples. We need to follow the proper procedure not just in testing but also in getting the actual vaccine to be tested. So that process will be joint between us and all stakeholders so that no one has got any doubt that what is being tested does not have the real genuine qualities for this vaccine,” he said.

The chairman of the House Committee on Health, asked for the investigation after observing that the Ministry of Health and the church appeared to get different results from samples tested.

The ruling came after the church presented to Parliament the results of tests it said proved that there was a conspiracy to secretly sterilise Kenyan women.

In an attack on the Ministry of Health and its partners, the Catholic Church said the ministry was either incapable or unwilling to act to stop the permanent poisoning of women through the tetanus vaccine.

A panel of the church’s medical experts says the vaccine is laced with a human hormone which will make it impossible for women who have been vaccinated to have children.

The health committee of the Kenya Episcopal Conference tabled the results before the National Assembly’s Committee on Health showing that samples of the government-administered vaccine contained the hormone called Beta human Chorionic Gonadotrophin, or HCG.

The Catholic Church has some standing on healthcare matters, being a provider of medical and training services to thousands.

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