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Catholic Church faults tetanus vaccination campaign

10 October 2014, 08:19 Ben Wafula

Bungoma - The Catholic Church has said it is against the tetanus vaccination campaign which targets women between the age of 19-49 years.

The Catholic Health Commission of Kenya-Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops (KCCB) condemned the government for not engaging the Catholic Church as a stakeholder in sensitizing the public about the forthcoming campaign scheduled to start on 13th -19th October and accused the government of not telling Kenyans the truth about the vaccination agenda.

Speaking at a press conference held at St. Patrick’s Pastoral Centre in Kabula, Bungoma County, KCCB Chairman Rt. Rev Paul Kariuki Njiru and the vice Chairman Rt. Rev.Joseph Mbatia accused the government of not engaging the Catholic church as a key stakeholder in respective technical working group despite the previous promises by the ministry of health.

The duo said that the Catholic Church has an extensive network of health facilities including 58 hospitals, 83 health Health centres, 311 dispensaries and 17 medical training institutions which offers a wide range preventive and curative health services, including vaccination.

They said that the health services are coordinated through the Catholic Health Commission of Kenya.

Rt. Rev Njiru said that there has been limited public awareness unlike other related campaigns like polio vaccination and also there has been limited public information on the rationale with a background that has informed the initiative since they raised an issue in March 2014.

Also read: Women to undergo tetanus immunization

“We want to know if there is a tetanus crisis in Kenya and if so why has it not been declared? Why should it target women between the ages of 19-49 years, why has it left out young girls, boys and men if they are all prone to tetanus? And in the midst of so many life threatening diseases in Kenya, why has tetanus been prioritized?,” the duo posed.

They said that the government has not convinced them that it has taken adequate responsibility to ensure that tetanus toxoid Vaccine (TT) has been laced with Beta human chorionic gonadotropin (b-HCG) sub-unit which is not being used by the sponsoring development partners.

Rt. Rev Mbatia said that the same vaccine has previously been used by the same partners in Philippines, Nicaragua and Mexico to vaccinate women against future pregnancy with Beta HCG sub unit acting as a hormone necessary for pregnancy.

“When injected as a vaccine to a non-pregnant woman, the beta HCG sub unit combined with tetanus toxoid develops antibodies against Tetanus and HCG so that if a woman’s egg becomes fertilized, her own natural HCG will be destroyed rendering her permanently infertile. Tetanus vaccination has been used as a birth control method,” said Rev Mbatia.

The Church wants the government to provide adequate information to the general public to avoid misinformation and propaganda in the regard to the vaccine the human dignity in life and health care should be prioritized.

“The tetanus vaccination has left a hallmark in of destruction in Philippines, Mexico and Nicaragua and we want to ensure that the vaccine that will be administered is free of the hormone,” Rev. Njiru said.

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