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MP: Address Catholic fears over tetanus vaccine

22 October 2014, 09:54 Ken Laban

Butula - An MP has raised concern over the controversy surrounding the national tetanus vaccine campaign saying the government must address the Roman Catholic church’s fear before they roll out the exercise.

Butula MP Michael Onyura noted that the church has voiced a genuine concern and said there is need for their claims to be investigated by experts to ensure the exercise is safe and healthy.

“Let experts from the government and concerned parties come together to investigate and allay fears over the exercise. We want the nation to be told the truth to enable this noble exercise succeed," said Onyura.

He explained that the ongoing opposition by the church will misinform and mislead the public saying this could thwart the whole process in the country.

“The government ought to come out strong and ensure Kenyans are told the truth. If this is not handled well, many Kenyans will ignore or refuse to be vaccinated due to unfounded fears raised by the Catholic church. For this exercise to succeed, the government ought to tell Kenyans the truth," he said.

Also read: Government dismisses Catholic fears over tetanus vaccine

The Catholic church of Kenya has opposed the vaccination campaign targeting women aged between 19-49 years claiming that it is a secret government plan to sterilise women and control population growth.

The church questions why the vaccination targets women under child bearing age only and why young girls, boys and men have been left out yet they are also vulnerable to tetanus.

The government has dismissed the claims and vowed that the vaccination campaign is safe and meant to save children’s lives.

 “This claims that the vaccination could make women infertile will jeopardize this exercise because most parents will boycott the campaign and this will pose a great risk to children in future," said Onyura.

Onyura was speaking during a free medical camp organized by Ahadi Kenya and Butula Constituency Development Fund (CDF) in Butula on Sunday.

“Let us support this government health campaign for the benefit of our children. Though they are fears over the ongoing tetanus vaccination, I urge the government and the Catholic church to solve this issue because their continuous disagreement will threaten the whole exercise,” said Stanley Kamau, Ahadi Kenya CEO.

More than 1000 people were treated of jiggers during the medical camp.

“We urge residents to accept the jiggers exist and stop hiding or stigmatizing those suffering from jiggers infestation to help eradicate the menace. With cooperation, we will surely succeed to ensure Kenya become a jigger free nation," declared Kamau.

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