Shekarau Snubs Vaccine Advice

As variants of polio traceable to Kano in Northern Nigeria (see my post here) continue to be found across West Africa, Governor Ibrahim Shekarau has offered a long and rambling defence of his continued boycotting of polio vaccines. Several days ago, the federal government sent a committee to South Africa and India to investigate the issue. The committee discovered that

a) Trace amounts of estradiol were found in some samples analysed…The sensitivity of this equipment is very high to the level of one part in a hundred billion parts.

(b) No trace of progesterone was detected in any of the vaccine samples.

(c) The trace amounts of estradiol in question is much less than what is found in recycled drinking water in several developed countries. Also calf blood (serum) is used to help the growth of the polio virus during the production process for OPV by some production centres. These trace levels of estradiol might very well be physiological residues from serum.

Therefore, they concluded, the vaccine was safe. The results were explained to Shekarau by the chairman of the committee, Sheik Umar El-Kanemi.

However, Shekarau is still not having it. He insists that the investigators did discover “contamination”, but also that the vaccine declared safe was “different”. Also, bizarrely:

I challenge the committee put up by the federal government to south Africa, to India. They put a representation of Jama’atul Nnasril Islam, JNI, I say where is the representation of CAN [Christian Association of Nigeria].

This is priceless. Shekarau’s whole argument was that the vaccine was a plot to make Muslim women infertile. But now Muslim investigators have told him this is bunk, he’s suddenly decided that Christians were not given adequate say in the investigation, and that therefore the boycott should stay in place.

Shekarau has now decided to import vaccines from Muslim countries in Asia rather than take part in the government programme. Why this continual intransigence? I thought paranoia, but Nigerian President Obasanjo offers another possible explanation in a TV interview, where he claimed that

one of the Muslim leaders opposing the immunisation programme had unsuccessfully sought a government contract to import new vaccines.

Ahh, of course. The old adage about asking who’s going to profit…

UPDATE: See here.

9 Responses

  1. […] Beliefs based on paranoid delusions tend to be non-falsifiable anyway. See also my entries here and here. Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Nine Christians murdered by the Muslim […]

  2. […] on March 11, 2004 by Richard Bartholomew The Nigerian polio vaccine saga rumbles on. As I noted a couple of days ago, a committee consisting of Muslim scientists had reported to Governor Shekarau that the vaccine was […]

  3. […] original entries on the subject can be seen here and here. Most of the links are now dead.) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Muslim […]

  4. […] further details, see my entries here, here, and here) Possibly related posts: (automatically generated)Pakistan Government Has […]

  5. […] end of 2004 were dashed. The full story appeared in some of my blog’s earliest entries: see here and here. The extent to which Abdulkareem and Shekarau can be blamed for the persistence of both […]

  6. […] I blogged at the time (see my entries here, here, and here), the Kano tragedy was the fault of Kano governor Ibrahim Shekarau and Lagos State […]

  7. […] Muslims, or to cause AIDS and cancer. It was one of the first stories I covered on this blog, and I followed carefully the malign and bizarre efforts of Kano governor Ibrahim Shekarau to block the vaccine, in cahoots […]

  8. […] Shekarau Snubs Vaccine Advice (Governor of Kano rejects scientific findings) […]

  9. […] is shameless spin. As I blogged at the time, the federal government was also aware of the Islamist-fuelled hysteria over the vaccine, and sent […]

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