A state-sponsored forced sterilization on a massive scale has allegedly taken place in Africa according to opposition leaders and the public who are railing against the government. An industrial pharmaceutical laboratory has since had its license suspended by the Kenya Accreditation Service as a result of the controversy.
Kenya’s opposition leader Raila Odinga—who swore himself in as president on Tuesday—claimed that at least 500,000 young girls and women may be infertile, following a tetanus vaccine administered by the government in 2014 and 2015.
The controversy began coming to a head in 2016 when Agriq-Quest Ltd, a Nairobi-based pharmaceutical company got in a dispute with Kenya’s Ministry of Health over their tetanus and polio vaccinations. A group of Catholic doctors originally made the accusations claiming that the vaccines may contain a hormone that is dangerous to young women and can cause potential sterilization.
As the Agence de Presse Africaine reported:
Odinga said girls and women aged between 14 and 49 from the fastest growing populations in the country will not have children, because of a state-sponsored sterilization exercise that was sold to the country as a tetanus vaccination.
The Catholic Church was ignored when it mounted a strong but lonely campaign against the mass tetanus vaccination, after it raised concerns about the safety of the vaccine that was being used, he said.
At the time, the Catholic Church in Kenya claimed that the tetanus vaccine used by the government of Kenya and UN agencies was contaminated with a hormone (hCG) that can cause miscarriages and render some women sterile.
“The Church’s position was informed by what had happened in Mexico, Nicaragua and Philippines, where the various governments together with WHO/UNICEF had conducted similar campaigns using tetanus toxoid impregnated with beta human chorionic gonadotropin (BhCG) that causes permanent infertility among girls and women,” Odinga continued.
Odinga says they confirmed through analysis of samples that the vaccines used were tainted with the hormone.
“Today, we can confirm to the country that the Catholic Church was right. Hundreds of thousands of our girls and women, aged between 14 and 49, from the fastest growing populations in the country will not have children, because of the state-sponsored sterilization that was sold to the country as tetanus vaccination,” he declared.