For some time now, there has been a very pulling debate about the authenticity of the tetanus jab that has been taking place in Kenya. There are a lot of controversies about the real truth of the vaccine, the Kenyan Bishops have shown a lot of concern and even asks, as to why the vaccine is targeted towards the women in the age bracket of 14 to 49 years and who are in the child bearing age. Other questions that they have been asked is why it excludes younger girls, boys and men who are also at the risk of getting hit by tetanus.
The vaccine is being done by the World health Organization and UNICEF Kenya. The bishops raised concerns with reference to the cases of Philippines, Nicaragua and Mexico Where the same tetanus vaccine was laced with some b-HCG which is a was aiming at vaccinating women against future pregnancies.
This vaccine contains a Beta HCG sub unit combined with some tetanus toxiod, when a woman who is not pregnant is injected with the vaccine, the Beta HCG Sub unit and the toxoid will then develop some antibodies that will fight both tetanus and HCG and in case the woman’s egg gets fertilized, the natural HCG of her body will be tampered with and this will leave the woman permanently infertile, this is the explanation that the bishops gave about how the tetanus vaccine has been used as a birth control method.
There are some questions that the bishops have been seeking clarity about, these are; they want to know if there is a tetanus outbreak or crisis among the child bearing age of women in Kenya and why has it not been nationally declared? Why is it that the ongoing tetanus vaccine campaign target only women between the ages of 14 and 49 who are mostly the majority in the child bearing age? why has the campaign been segregate against young girls? boys and men yet they are all at the risk of tetanus attack?
We have so many other dangerous diseases in the country and they are well known to be affecting the people, and the bishops are seeking to know why it that tetanus is the only priority is? And on the other hand, the bishops raised a concern that in other instances where such campaigns have been taking place in the country, the public had an opportunity to ask questions unlike in this case where there is no space for public input.
And that the Catholic Church which is well known for the great involvement in the provision of health services was not consulted at all about this particular vaccine or rather campaign. There are so many worries that the bishops have shown about the lack of involvement of stakeholders in the aspects of preparing or even implementing the campaign, and in other health initiatives, the Catholic Church together with other stakeholders have been involved as key players on the list of stake holders to actively participate in similar campaigns.
The bishops gave a statement in which they clearly put it that, indeed it is a matter of great acknowledgement that maternal and neonatal care are very important aspects of health or rather medical care in the fight to ensure prevention of death. On the other hand, the bishops stood a ground and said that there is need for adequate and clear information to the entire public so that nothing is done that will raise chances of misinformation and propaganda in regard to this vaccine or any other campaign.
They maintained that the dignity of the human person and the sanctity of human life are paramount to be given priorities in health care provision, and the said that there is no way the Catholic church will avoid asking any moral question that is attached to anything that is targeting or rather affecting human life.