, NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 19 – A study conducted by Ipsos shows that a majority of Kenyan Catholics at 55 percent, do not think that the tetanus vaccine is secretly being used as a birth control device to contain population growth in Kenya.
This is despite the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops being the most vocally opposed to the vaccine.
The study also shows that a majority of Kenyan women, 59 percent, do not hold the same views as the bishops with a third of those polled indicating that they are Catholic.
It is however worth noting that the majority of other Christians, between 60 and 65 percent, do believe that the vaccine is a secret birth control device meant to control population growth.
“There is a significant proportion of non-Catholic Christians who are against it, compared to those who are Catholic. A majority of mainstream Protestants, SDA and other Christians perceive the vaccine as a birth control device,” the Ipsos report concluded.
The greatest opposition to the vaccine was registered in the North Eastern region at 77 percent compared to the second highest, 54 percent, in Central.
“This may be as a result of cultural beliefs on procreation and religious influences which do not support birth control,” the Ipsos report explains.
That being said however, the majority of Muslims – 60 percent – do not think the contentious tetanus vaccine is a secret birth control device.
The level of education, the study also found, appears not to play a significant role in the perceptions formed around the vaccine.
“Sixty one percent of least educated Kenyans (none and some primary education) hold the view that it is not a birth control device. The same position is held by 61 percent of the most educated Kenyans (University level),” the study showed.
A majority of those polled, 63 percent, were in rural areas.
Overall, Ipsos found that 58 percent of Kenyans do not think the said tetanus vaccine is secretly being used as a birth control device.
Those who do however, Ipsos cautioned, were still a significant number.
“One in every four adults doubts its safety,” the report notes.
“And it is in recognition of this that the Ministry of Health has committed to jointly testing the vaccine with the Catholic bishops,” the Director of Medical Services, Nicholas Muraguri, told Capital FM News.
Ipsos indicates that it carried out its survey of Kenyans’ perceptions on the contentious tetanus vaccine between November 6 and 14, interviewing 2,005 respondents from randomly selected households.