Stranger Than Fiction: Polio ‘Treatments’ in the 1900’s

There’s no doubt whatsoever that the polio epidemics of the early 20th century left a traumatic and lasting impression on the American psyche (and perhaps to a lesser extent, the Western psyche). Everybody seems to know somebody who was ‘crippled by polio’. The fear and devastation were very real indeed.

Others have written excellent, in-depth analyses on what caused sporadic cases to become widespread and disabling epidemics, but few have delved into the reality of medical care exacerbating the severity of poliomyelitis.

Below are some of the treatments you could expect, if stricken by paralysis in the early 1900’s:

  • Intramuscular injections of strychnine (which can cause paralysis and nerve damage – if it doesn’t kill you outright) [1].
  • Lumbar punctures, which can cause or exacerbate paralysis, and may also precede respiratory problems (which would have been blamed on ‘bulbar’ polio at the time) [1].
  • Intraspinal injections of adrenaline (almost half of the recipients died), human serum, or quinine and urea hydrochloride (3 of 6 children given this mixture orally and intramuscularly died). Even intraspinal injections of horse serum were tried [1].
  • Injections of tetanus antitoxin – the rationale being that “tetanus, rabies and poliomyelitis all attacked nerve cells, so perhaps giving the antitoxin would block access to absorption sites on the cells”. Even injections of diptheria antitoxin were tried, with 3 out of 5 patients dying [1].
  • Tendon cutting and transplantation [2].
  • Painful electrical treatments [2].
  • Radium water (After radium was discovered in 1898, it quickly gained popularity, proclaimed as a ‘cure-all’ elixir that could make one young again, and cure all kinds of ills and ails) [3].
  • Surgical Straightening: Dr. John Pohl, in an interview circa 1940, said “We’d take the children to the operating room in those days, straighten them out under anaesthetic, and put them in plaster casts. When they woke up, they screamed. The next day they still cried from the pain. That was the accepted and universal treatment virtually all over the world. I saw it in Boston and New York City and London” [4].
  • Even laypeople had their ‘cures’ and remedies, and some couldn’t resist the opportunity to ‘make a quick buck’. During the deadly 1916 epidemic, the New York Times reported that one Joseph Frooks had been charged with selling ‘Infantile Disease Protector’, which, upon investigation, was found to contain “a mixture of wood shavings” that were saturated in a mixture smelling remarkably like naphthalene [5].

It behoves us to ask…how many people were disabled or killed by polio – and how many by the so-called ‘treatments’ for polio?

References:

[1] Wyatt HV, Before the Vaccines: Medical Treatments of Acute Paralysis in the 1916 New York Epidemic of Poliomyelitis, The Open Microbiology Journal. 2014, 8:144-147.

[2] Paul JR. A History of poliomyelitis, Yale University Press, New Haven, Connecticut, 1971.

[3] Gould T, A Summer Plague: Polio and its Survivors, Yale University Press, 1997.

[4] Cohn V. Sister Kenny: The Woman Who Challenged the Doctors, University of Minnesota Press, 1975.

[5] Ibid See reference 3.

Vaccines & Infertility

In 2012, the British Medical Journal published a case report of a 16-year-old girl who received a cervical cancer vaccine towards the end of 2008. Following that, her menstrual periods became irregular and scant, and by 2011, her menstrual cycle had ceased altogether.

Upon further inspection, it was discovered that all of her remaining eggs were dead – she was totally and irreversibly infertile, at just 16 years of age [1].

Other cases of premature ovarian failure in young women following vaccination for cervical cancer have since come before the courts [2].

A recent study (2018) analysed information representing 8 million 25-to-29-year-old US women between 2007 and 2014.

Approximately 60% of women who did not receive the HPV vaccine had been pregnant at least once, whereas only 35% of women who were exposed to the vaccine had conceived [3].

It is not just the HPV vaccine raising questions about possibly fertility effects. Research also shows increased risk of miscarriage after influenza vaccination during pregnancy [4]. [

Note that multi-dose vials of influenza vaccine still contain mercury in the form of thimerosal – the Chinese were using mercury as an abortifacient up to 5000 years ago [5].

Globally, the fertility rate has more than halved since 1960.

Fifty-nine countries, representing 46% of the global population, now have fertility rates below replacement level [6].

Of course, much of that has been by choice, through women’s rights movements, access to contraceptives, changing religious beliefs, along with increased living standards and higher education (not to mention a very aggressive ‘family planning’ push through WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and others – more on that in a later post), but clearly not all of the plummeting fertility rate has been by choice…

An international team of scientists analysed data from nearly 43,000 men in dozens of industrialized countries and found that sperm counts have dropped by more than half over the past four decades [7].

Peter Schlegal, professor and chairman of urology at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, and vice president of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, says “Since this is the best study that’s ever been done, it is concerning that it suggests such a progressive and dramatic decrease in sperm counts over time.”

“Since we don’t know what could be causing it, it’s worrisome” [8].

Numerous studies also reveal that testosterone levels in men have declined substantially over the past decades [9-11]

Over the past decades, girls in Western countries have also been reaching puberty at younger and younger ages… [12]

There is evidence to suggest that earlier puberty, coupled with no children, doubles a woman’s risk of early menopause [13].

Is there a possibility that vaccines could somehow contribute to lower sperm counts, earlier puberty and menopause, not to mention the growing numbers of women suffering hormonal issues such as polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), estrogen dominance etc?

Given that no vaccine on the market has been tested long-term for ability to damage or impair fertility, we are left to theorize about potentials and correlations. Certainly, there are a number of ingredients used in vaccines that are possible ‘red flags’.

Aluminium: Used as an adjuvant in numerous vaccines, such as Hepatitis B (first dose administered within hours of birth), and HPV vaccines (given to 11-13yo boys and girls), is a metalloestrogen. It belongs to a class of metals that are capable of binding to oestrogen receptors and mimicking the action of physiological oestrogen [14]. Mercury is also a metalloestrogen.

Glutaraldehyde: Classified as a reproductive toxin in females, and suspected reproductive toxin in males, capable of inducing DNA damage in mammals [15], is found in DTaP vaccines given to infants as young as 6 weeks.

Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide: A surfactant used in some influenza and typhoid vaccines.

No data available on its ability to cause cancer, birth defects or DNA damage, however, animal test data suggests it may cause adverse reproductive effects and birth defects. May also be toxic to the liver, cardiovascular and nervous systems [16].

2-Phenoxyethanol: According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, 2-phenoxyethanol is the same as ethylene glycol, which has been shown to cause “wasting of the testicles, reproductive changes, infertility and changes to kidney function” [17].

Sodium borate, or Borax: Used in the Hepatitis A and HPV vaccines, and is added as a buffer, to “resist changes in pH, adjust tonicity and maintain osmolarity” [18].

Animal studies “show that the primary targets for borate toxicity are the developing fetus and the male reproductive system”. (Note that adolescent boys are now being targeted for HPV vaccination.)

Reproductive effects included atrophy of the testes and infertility [19].

Those are the ingredients we know about. What about vaccine contaminants, which scientists admit there is no possible way to screen for all potential contaminants [20-22], and even if there were, the FDA and other regulatory agencies only offer ‘guidance’ on how vaccine manufacturers ‘should’ screen vaccine lots [23]?

In 2003, three states in Northern Nigeria boycotted the oral polio vaccine, due to the alleged discovery of contaminants, including trace amounts of estrogen. The boycott lasted for 15 months [24].

In 2015, Catholic Bishops in Kenya announced that they had tested vials of the tetanus vaccine, then being used to vaccinate women of child-bearing age, and found them laced with beta-HCG, a pregnancy hormone [25]

The Catholic Church operates about 30% of health clinics in Kenya, and is not opposed to vaccination per se [26], but suspicions began to arise over the secrecy surrounding the WHO/UNICEF vaccination campaign (vials were delivered to health clinics under police guard, and empty vials returned to Nairobi, also under police guard), and the unusual policy of 5 doses of tetanus toxoid vaccine, administered every 6 months [27].

One of the laboratories used to test the vaccines for contaminants, Agriq-Quest, later had their license suspended by the Kenyan government. Agriq-Quest, however, claimed it was because they refused to doctor the samples to show the vaccines were clean [28].

As Oller et al (2017) noted: “…WHO biomedical researchers have been working to engineer such an “anti-fertility” vaccine for “birth-control” at least since 1972. Research published in 1976 confirmed that recipients of a vaccine containing βhCG chemically conjugated with TT (tetanus toxoid) develop antibodies not only against TT but also against βhCG. The result, first reported by WHO researchers at a meeting of the US National Academy of Sciences, is a “birth-control” vaccine that diminishes the βhCG essential to a successful pregnancy and causes at least temporary “infertility”. Subsequent research showed that repeated doses can extend infertility indefinitely” [29]

During the 1990’s, numerous reports surfaced that millions of women in Nicaragua, Mexico and Phillipines had been targeted by WHO ‘anti-fertility’ vaccination campaigns, under the guise of ‘eliminating neonatal tetanus’ [30].

More recently, In December, 2018, Italian research group, Corvelva, announced that they had received a donation from the Italian National Order of Biologists, and intended to test the contents of every vaccine currently on the market.

Their results so far have been disturbing. For instance, their testing of Hexyon 6-in-1 infant vaccine (recently approved for use in the US, beginning in 2020, under a different trade name) not only revealed a conspicuous absence of some antigens meant to be in there, they also noted the presence of many contaminants not meant to be in there [31]!

These included:

Diethylatrazine: Pesticide, second most widely used pesticide in the US (after glyphosate), but banned in Europe due to persistent groundwater contamination. It is suspected to be an endocrine disrupter and reproductive toxin. Studies found that the chemical caused male frogs to develop female characteristics, possibly because testosterone levels decreased by 10 times, when exposed to atrazine at just 25 ppb (parts per billion) [32]

Sulfluramid: Insecticide (which contains fluoride), not approved for use in EU. Was due to be phased out in US by 2016. Used in a variety of termite, ant and cockroach baits. Animal studies suggest that sulfluramid may adversely affect the reproductive system, especially in males, and/or cause infertility in males [33]

References:

[1] Little DT, Ward HR. premature ovarian failure 3 years after menarche in a 16-year-old girl following human papillomavirus vaccination, BMJ Case Reports, 2012, doi:10.1136/bcr-2012-006879.

[2] Wetzstein C. HPV Vaccine Cited in Infertility Case, The Washington Times, November 11, 2013.

[3] DeLong G, A lowered probability of pregnancy in females in the USA aged 25–29 who received a human papillomavirus vaccine injection, Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health, Part A, 2018, 81(14): 661-674]

[4] Donahue JG, Kieke BA, King JP et al, Association of spontaneous abortion with receipt of inactivated vaccine containing H1N1pdm09 in 2010-11 and 2011-12, Vaccine, 2017, 35(40):5314-5322.

[5] Tietze C and Lewit S, Abortion, Scientific American, 1969, 220:21.

[6] Cheadle C, Dropping Fertility Rates are a Threat to the Global Economy, Business Insider, https://www.businessinsider.com/dropping-fertility-rates-will-affect-the-economy-2016-11?IR=T. Accessed March, 2019.

[7] Levine H, Jørgensen N, Martino-Andrade A, et al, Temporal trends in sperm count: a systematic review and meta-regression analysis, Human Reproduction Update, 2017, 23(6): 646–659.

[8] Stein R, Sperm counts plummet in western men, study finds, NPR, 31st July 2017, https://www.npr.org/2017/07/31/539517210/sperm-counts-plummet-in-western-men-study-finds. Accessed February, 2019.

[9] [Andersson AM, Jensen TK, Juul A et al, Secular Decline in Male Testosterone and Sex Hormone Binding Globulin Serum Levels in Danish Population Surveys, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2007, 92(12): 4696–4705.

[10] Travison TG, Araujo AB, Amy B. O’Donnell AB, et al, A Population-Level Decline in Serum Testosterone Levels in American Men, The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, 2007, Volume 92(1): 196–202.

[11]Perheentupa A, Mäkinen J, Laatikainen T, et al Vierula, M., Skakkebaek, N., Andersson, A., & Toppari, J. A cohort effect on serum testosterone levels in Finnish men, European Journal of Endocrinology, 2013, 168(2): 227-233.

[12] Boaz NT, Essentials of biological anthropology, 1999, Prentice Hall, New Jersey.

[13] Thacker HL, Does early menstruation mean earlier menopause? https://speakingofwomenshealth.com/column/does-early-menstruation-mean-early-menopause. Accessed February 2019.

[14] Darbre P, Metalloestrogens: an emerging class of inorganic xenoestrogens with potential to add to the oestrogenic burden of the human breast, J Appl Toxicol, 2006, 26(3): 191-197.

[15] Science Lab. MSDS Glutaraldehyde, http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9924161. Accessed October, 2017.

[16] Science Lab. MSDS Cetyltrimethylammonium bromide, http://www.sciencelab.com/msds.php?msdsId=9923367. Accessed October, 2017.

[17] Santa Cruz Biotechnology Inc. MSDS: 2- phenoxyethanol, http://datasheets.scbt.com/sc-238193.pdf. Accessed October, 2017.

[18] The Immunization Advisory Centre. Vaccine Ingredients Factsheet for Parents and Caregivers, http://www.immune.org.nz/vaccines/vaccine-development/vaccine-components. Accessed October, 2017.

[19] U.S. Forest Service. Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessment for Borax Final Report, https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/ac73/7b23b40f58669398317e30efe51833c361c5.pdf. Accessed October, 2017.

[20] Stang A, Petrasch- Parwez E, Brandt S, et al. Unintended spread of a biosafety level 2 recombinant retrovirus, Retrovirology, 2009, 6:86.

[21] Veerasami M, Chitra M, Mohana Subramanian B, et al. Individual and multiplex pCR assays for the detection of adventitious bovine and porcine viral genome contaminants in the commercial vaccines and animal derived raw materials, J Vet Sci Tech, 2014, 5:3.

[22] Marcus-Sekura C, Richardson JC, Harston RK, Sane N, Sheets RL. Evaluation of the Human Host Range of Bovine and Porcine Viruses that may Contaminate Bovine Serum and Porcine Trypsin Used in the Manufacture of Biological Products. Biologicals : Journal of the International Association of Biological Standardization. 2011;39(6):359-369.

[23] FDA. Guidance for Industry: Content and Format of Chemistry, Manufacturing and Controls Information and Establishment Description Information for a Vaccine or Related product, https://www.fda.gov/downloads/BiologicsBloodVaccines/GuidanceComplianceRegulatoryInformation/Guidances/Vaccines/ucm092272.pdf. Accessed March 2019]

[24] ABC News, Vaccine Boycott Grows in Northern Nigeria, 24th February, 2004.

[25] Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops: Press Statement by the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops, http://www.kccb.or.ke/home/news-2/press-statement-by-the-kenya-conference-of-catholic-bishops/. Accessed March, 2019.

[26] Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops: Catholic Health Commission of Kenya, http://www.kccb.or.ke/home/commission/12-catholic-health-commission-of-kenya/. Accessed March 2019.

[27] Oller, JW, Shaw CA, Tomljenovic, L., et al, HCG Found in WHO Tetanus Vaccine in Kenya Raises Concern in the Developing World. Open Access Library Journal, 2017, 4: e3937.

[28] Obara V, License of industrial lab Agriq-Quest suspended, Business Daily, 12th January, 2017, https://www.businessdailyafrica.com/Corporate-News/Licence-of-industrial-lab-Agriq-Quest-suspended/539550-3515280-j78flcz/. Accessed March, 2019.

[29] Oller, JW, Shaw CA, Tomljenovic, L., et al, HCG Found in WHO Tetanus Vaccine in Kenya Raises Concern in the Developing World. Open Access Library Journal, 2017, 4: e3937.

[30] Ibid

[31] Corvelva, Study on the chemical composition of Hexyon, Available at: https://drive.google.com/file/d/12e3O0cT1hSMGULzvFg3DcoM_XyGZMRur/view. Accessed 24th January, 2019.

[32] Hayes TB, Collins A, Lee M, Mendoza M, Noriega N, Stuart AA, Vonk A, Hermaphroditic, demasculinized frogs after exposure to the herbicide atrazine at low ecologically relevant doses, Proc Nat Acad Sci, 2002, 99(8): 5476-5480.

[33] US EPA memorandum, “Sulfluramid – Amount of A.I. in Raid Max Roach Bait.” To Mike Mendelsohn, PM Team Reviewer, Registration Division (7505C). From Linda L. Talor, Ph.D., Toxicology Branch II, Health Effects Division (7509C) and Marcia van Gemert, Ph.D., Chief, Toxicology Branch II/HED (7509C), August 10, 1994.].

The Truth About Vaccines & Other Drugs in Africa

There seems to be a perception in the Western world that African children are dying due to lack of vaccines, but is that actually true? Not exactly.

In many cases, the relentless push for vaccines (usually by outside interests) as a magic fix for disease, has come at the expense of other interventions.

According to UNICEF statistics, Rwanda has 95% – 98% vaccination coverage for diptheria-tetanus-pertussis…yet 37% of children are stunted due to malnutrition. Only 62% have access to proper sanitation [1]

Botswana has 95% children vaccinated with three doses of diptheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine…but just over half receive Vitamin A supplementation (lauded in the early 1990’s as THE most effective health intervention of all), and only 20% of infants are exclusively breastfed [2].

Malawi is ranked 9th poorest country in the world, with more than half its people living below the poverty line, 9.6 million Malawians (more than half the population) don’t have access to a decent toilet, 5.6 million people (1 in 3) don’t have access to clean water, and 42% of children are stunted [3], yet more than 80% of children are up-to-date with vaccinations…[4].

The Malawi vaccination schedule now includes vaccines for measles, polio, cervical cancer, rotavirus, pneumococcal disease, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, hepatitis B, Haemophilus Influenza type B (Hib) [5].

According to UNICEF, almost 90 percent of child deaths from diarrhoeal diseases are directly linked to contaminated water, lack of sanitation, or inadequate hygiene [6], but money that may have been spent on sanitation and procurement of clean water, is spent on rotavirus vaccines instead.

Also, recall that the diptheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine used in poor African countries is likely the old whole-cell thimerosal-containing vaccine, due to being cheaper than the new acellular vaccine [7].

African countries are increasingly rolling out HPV vaccination campaigns for school-girls. While it’s true that the majority of cervical cancer cases are in developing countries, one can’t help but wonder if HPV vaccination is a wise use of resources, given the more pressing needs in many sub-saharan countries.

In 2011, Merck donated 2 million doses of Gardasil vaccine to Rwanda, and 95% of the nation’s 11-year-old girls were vaccinated. The freebies ran out after three years, at which time Merck offered the vaccine to the Rwandan government at ‘discount prices’. Such donations can have the effect of locking governments into programmes which they later have to fund themselves, at the expense of more pressing issues, and may be more about ‘priming the market’, than charity on the part of the drug company [8-9].

Between 2013 – 2016, 26, 766 young girls in Malawi were given quadrivalent HPV vaccination as part of a pilot project, supported by GAVI – and 2051 girls who participated were under the age of 9 [10].

Vaccination coverage in Tanzania in 2014 for school and out of school girls was estimated at 93 per cent and 92.6 per cent, respectively. The chief Health Minister boasted that, despite “heartbreaking stories of the ill effects of vaccines” online, Tanzania had not even registered one single adverse reaction from the vaccine [11]. Is there an incentive for African governments – hopeful of foreign investment from pharmaceutical companies to downplay risks and reactions, in order to keep up the flow of income?

In December 2012, 500 children in Chad received a new experimental meningitis vaccine, and 38 children were later hospitalized, with 7 of the children flown to Tunisia for specialized treatment. The Chadian government declared their “state of health is not worrying”, but other sources in Chad claimed the children were paralysed [12-13].

In 2008, the Center for Research on Multinational Corporations reported (among others) the case of clinical trials in Uganda between 1997 – 2003, where thousands of women suffered adverse reactions to the drug Nevirapine, and some died – and all of it went unreported, while testing continued [14].  

Supplemental Immunization Activities

In addition to routine childhood vaccines, WHO and other agencies also conduct ‘supplemental immunization activities’, which are mass vaccination campaigns that aim to administer extra doses of vaccines. According to the WHO, there have been “thousands of these supplementary vaccination campaigns” with oral polio vaccine since the 1980’s, with children vaccinated regardless of prior vaccine history. The extra doses were not recorded on the child’s health cards [15].

Extra doses of measles vaccines are also given. A quick look at the Measles and Rubella Initiative Calendar for 2019 shows they plan on supplementally vaccinating more than 100 million people in sub-Saharan Africa this year – in addition to routine vaccinations [16].

Experimental Vaccines

In addition to routine vaccinations and supplementary vaccination, poor African countries are increasingly used to test experimental vaccines because it’s quicker and cheaper and less stringent regulations than western countries “Development cycles can be reduced thanks to the faster recruitment of subjects from a larger pool of patients. The costs of recruiting patients and paying investigators are lower too” [17]

This poses some real ethical problems. I have never been to Africa but I have lived in a developing country, and witnessed first-hand the reverence given to those who are in positions of power, or overseas-trained. People are too embarrassed or intimidated to ask questions of their doctor or report side-effects, as it would seem disrespectful and ‘out of line’ with the societal and cultural hierarchy.

Other developing regions face similar issues. M. Nabeel Ghayur, a pharmacologist who worked in drug development in Pakistan says: “People actually have blind trust in their doctor in South Asia. They have no idea what drug development is, they have no idea what clinical trials are.

He said there was little red tape in those countries, and that people would rarely ask about drug side effects and legal issues” [18].

Starting next month (March, 2019), 750,000 babies in Kenya, Ghana and Malawi will be given a new experimental malaria vaccine. The vaccine Mosquirix will be given to children in four doses- at six, seven, nine and 24 months through an injection on the upper arm [19].

 The Star newspaper in Kenya reported: “Mosquirix, also called RTS,S, was first conceived in the 1980s and has undergone all clinical trials, returning less than optimal results.

The vaccine – made by GSK – is only effective in 30 to 50 per cent of patients, says the WHO.

Its effectiveness diminishes over time and it disappears fastest in children who are most exposed to malarial mosquito bites. However, because no defence against malaria is perfect, the vaccine is being considered in addition to the existing defences” [20].

GlaxoSmithKline and its backers, including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, had already spent $565 million on developing the drug, which brought back disappointing results in early testing, and did not meet the expected criteria for a malaria vaccine set out by a WHO-led consortium”, which requires a “protective efficacy of more than 50% against severe disease and death, and last longer than one year.” [21]

In 2017, the Global Task Force on Cholera Control launched a very ambitious set of goals, including 90% reduction in cholera deaths by 2030. Naturally, vaccines feature prominently, namely the oral cholera vaccine. A year later, the ‘largest vaccination drive in history’ took place, with over 2 million people vaccinated for cholera in Zambia, Uganda, Malawi, South Sudan and Nigeria [22].  

As of January 2019, more than 66,000 people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have been vaccinated with Merck’s V920, an experimental Ebola vaccine [23].

A Chinese-made genetically-engineered Ebola vaccine was given to 500 adults in Sierra Leone in 2015, as part of a Phase II trial. The Chinese FDA then approved the vaccine, without any Phase III trials [24].

In 2018, some 20,000 Malawian children were enrolled to receive an experimental typhoid conjugate vaccine [25].

Supplemental Drugs

In addition to routine vaccines, supplemental vaccines and experimental vaccines…many African children (and pregnant women) are also given supplemental drugs – malaria (sulfa) drugs, three times during the first year of life (starting from 10 weeks old), or several times per year during childhood – even if they have no infection [26]. During pregnancy, mothers are given the drugs at least three times during the 2nd and 3rd trimesters – again, even if they have no infection [27].

This is called “intermittent preventive therapy”, and it was promoted aggressively by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, to the tune of at least $28 million dollars, with the establishment of the ‘IPTi Consortium’ [28].

in 2008, a technical advisory group at the World Health Organization (who coincidentally has received more than $2.4 billion in donations from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, since 2000 [29], including a $1.2 million grant in 2006, with the express purpose of ensuring “that the IPTi consortium outcomes are collated, assessed by international experts, and result in a WHO policy recommendation” [30])  failed to recommend the program, due to concerns over safety and efficacy.

The protests from the Gates Foundation and their scientists were so loud and insistent, it prompted WHO malaria chief to write a memorandum (which was later leaked to newspapers) to WHO director, Margaret Chan, saying: “although it was less and less straightforward that the health agency should recommend IPTi, the agency’s objections were met with intense and aggressive opposition from Gates-backed scientists and the foundation…” [31]

Not to be deterred, the Gates Foundation then donated funds to have the Institute of Medicine conduct another review, chaired by a doctor whose work has received at least $50 million in funding from the Gates Foundation [32].

Predictably enough, the IOM review concluded that “an intervention with results of this magnitude is worthy of further investment as part of a public health strategy to decrease morbidity from malaria infections in infants“, although they noted that “time and resources did not allow independent audits of trial conduct, data management, or analysis” [33].

The WHO malaria chief who protested the excessive influence of the Gates Foundation, was later replaced…by a member of the Gates-founded IPTi Consortium (and now Vice-President of Johnson & Johnson pharmaceutical company [34]) and WHO then proceeded to recommend these sulphonamide drugs to infants ( given at the same time as routine vaccines for diptheria-tetanus-pertussis and measles), children and pregnant mothers, despite evidence of increasing drug-resistance in sub-Saharan Africa…

Prior to the IPTp and IPTi programs, pregnant women in malaria-endemic areas of Africa were given weekly doses of chloroquine, until drug resistance and compliance issues made it unfeasible to continue [35].

Other chemical exposures

The use of DDT to control mosquitos in malaria-endemic areas was endorsed by the World Health Organization in 2006, and its use has been increasing ever since. The chemical is sprayed inside homes and buildings – according to a report by the United Nations Environment Program, at least 3952 tonnes of DDT were sprayed in Africa and Asia in 2007 [36].

Agricultural spraying of DDT is common in Africa, especially in West Africa, where mosquitos have developed resistance to it [37].

The vast wealth of precious metals and natural resources in Africa have been both a blessing and curse to its people. Gold and other mining in Africa have produced countless mountains of toxic wastes that pollute the air, soil and water, most notably with uranium, arsenic and lead [38].

Another form of pollution experienced in poorer parts of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa, is indoor air pollution from cooking over open fires, using wood, charcoal, kerosene or animal dung. The World Health Organization estimates that as many as 3.8 million people die prematurely every year, due to health conditions caused by indoor air pollution, the majority due to pneumonia [39].

References:

[1] UNICEF, Statistics: Rwanda https://data.unicef.org/country/rwa/. Accessed February, 2019

[2] UNICEF Statistics: Botswana, https://data.unicef.org/country/bwa/. Accessed February, 2019.

[3] WaterAid, Facts and Statistics: Malawi, https://www.wateraid.org/mw/facts-and-statistics. Accessed February, 2019.

[4] WHO, WHO and UNICEF Estimates of Vaccine Coverage, 2017 Revision, https://www.who.int/immunization/monitoring_surveillance/data/mwi.pdf, Accessed February, 2019.

[5] GAVI The Vaccine Alliance, Iceland pledges US $1 Million to Immunise Children in Malawi, https://www.gavi.org/library/news/statements/2019/iceland-pledges-usd1-million-to-immunise-children-in-malawi/, Accessed February, 2019.

[6] UNICEF, Press Release, Children Dying Daily Because of Unsafe Water Supplies and Poor Sanitation and Hygiene, New York: UNICEF, 2013.

[7] WHO, Biologicals: Pertussis, https://www.who.int/biologicals/vaccines/pertussis/en/. Accessed February, 2019.

[8] The Guardian, Drug donations are great, but should Big pharma be setting the agenda? https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/apr/29/drug-company-donations-bigpharma. Accessed September, 2017.

[9] Editorial, Financing HPV vaccination in developing countries, The Lancet, 2011, 377(9777):1544.

[10] Msyamboza KP, et al, Implementation of a human papillomavirus vaccination demonstration project in Malawi: successes and challenges, BMC Public Health series, 2017, 17:599.

[11] AllAfrica, Tanzania: Cancer Vaccination Program Registers Success, https://allafrica.com/stories/201602152199.html, Accessed February, 2019.

[12] MedicalExpress, 38 children hospitalised after meningitis shot in Chad, https://medicalxpress.com/news/2013-01-children-hospitalised-meningitis-shot-chad.html#jCp. Accessed February, 2019][

[13] England C, Minimum of 40 children paralyzed after new meningitis vaccine, VacTruth, https://vactruth.com/2013/01/06/paralyzed-after-meningitis-vaccine/. Accessed February 2019

[14] Kelly S, Testing drugs on the developing world, The Atlantic, 27th February 2013, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2013/02/testing-drugs-on-the-developing-world/273329/. Accessed February, 2019.]

[15] Helleringer S et al, Supplementary polio immunization activities and prior use of routine immunization services in non-polio-endemic sub-Saharan Africa, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 2012, https://www.who.int/bulletin/volumes/90/7/11-092494/en/. Accessed February, 2019.

[16] Measles and Rubella Initiative, SIA Schedule, https://measlesrubellainitiative.org/resources/sia-schedule/. Accessed February, 2019.

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