Following scandals already recorded in Mexico, Nicaragua and the Philippines, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the United Nations Fund for Children (UNICEF) are once again being accused in Kenya of having administered sterilizing products to patients making them believe that they were being vaccinated against tetanus.

In March and October 2014, the Kenyan Conference of Catholic Bishops which administers a number of hospitals in this African country, participated in a campaign for tetanus vaccination. [The project] was organized by the WHO and UNICEF in March and October 2014 for people aged between 14 – 49 years. Before the persistent rumours that were circulating in the country, the Bishops Conference requested the Kenyan Minister of Health, James Wainaina Macharia, to confirm the vaccine’s composition.

As the minister refused, the Bishops’ Conference turned to the laboratory AgriQ Quest Ltd to carry out the investigation. Experts could confirm that the vaccines contained 24 to 37.5% of βhCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), a hormone produced by the human embryo and placenta during pregnancy The fact is that a product containing this human hormone in the stated concentration is fully capable of sterilizing persons that have been inoculated.

The Kenyan Health Minister rejected the results of the investigation and stated that it was impossible to introduce that hormone into the vaccines used.

The parliamentary committee in charge of health issues then invited the Health Minister and the Kenyan Bishops Conference to present their respective findings. And, contrary to previous government declarations, it emerged that the authorities never verified the vaccines before using them.

Finally the authorities presented 10 samples with negative results whilst the Bishops Conference presented 9 samples, of which three tested positive. Thus the health minister withdrew from the debate.

Monseigneur Paul Kariuki Njiru, the Bishop of Embu and President of the Health Commission of the Catholic Bishops Conference of Kenya, then turned to the media accusing the WHO, UNICEF and the Kenyan government of having intentionally inoculated βhCG in patients, without their knowledge, in order to sterilize them.

The tetanus vaccine is administered in three stages and a third of the dosage was contaminated with βhCG.

The WHO has preferred to decline from responding in any way on this matter.

Anoosha Boralessa