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Govt to launch polio campaign despite opposition from Catholic Church

29 July 2015, 10:28 Dennis Omido

Nairobi - The government has maintained that it will go ahead to launch the polio vaccination campaign despite opposition from the Catholic Church bishops.

The bishops called on Kenyans to boycott the exercise scheduled for August 1, saying the government had failed to prove that it is safe for children.

However, the Director of Medical Services Nicholas Muraguri dismissed the claims by the bishops saying they are unfounded.

“This vaccine is the one we have been administering in the country, and it is safe. We cannot postpone the exercise again because it was also postponed four months ago,” Muraguri said.

He said the bishops were invited to attend quality control tests on the vaccine but never showed up.

Read Also: WHO dismisses Catholic fears over tetanus vaccine

“They came up with unprofessional demands, and even asked for outdated tests on the vaccine. The Catholic Church lacks independent professional opinion, but we will continue to engage them,” Muraguri said.

He said they need to get health experts to advise them on the issue before it gets out of hand.

“Priests are not health and vaccine professionals. They should seek experts’ opinion on the issue because it is the lives of Kenyan children that will be put at risk,” Muraguri said.

Early this year, the bishops opposed government’s tetanus vaccination campaign saying it was a disguised form of population control.

They said the government later agreed agreed to test all vaccines before, during and after the campaign.

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