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Polio Vaccine Genocide in Uganda

Polio Vaccine Genocide in Uganda

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Published by: Jonathan Robert Kraus (OutofMudProductions) on Aug 14, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Polio vaccine genocide in Uganda
Update: Letter from Kihura Nkuba October 20th, 2003.A Transcript of a talk given by Kihura atthe National Vaccine Information Center'sThirdInternational Public Conference on Vaccination November 7-9, 2002 - Arlington, Virginia,aired on C-Span 2 on November 7, 2002.Contact Kihura throughBarbara Loe Fisher atThe National Vaccine Information Center 421-E Church StreetVienna, VA 22180 phone: 703-938-0342fax: 703-938-5768INTRODUCTION by Barbara L. Fisher:We're now going to look at oral polio vaccination conducted in Africa.Ournext speaker, known in the pan-African world as Kihura Nkuba, which means"one who handcuffs lightning and puts thunder in jail", is founderofGreater African Radio and president of the East AfricanWorldBroadcastersAssociation, and director of the Pan-African Center for Strategic andInternationalStudies. Several years ago he began hearing from villagerswho were being subjected to repeatedforced live oral polio vaccinationsdespite reports of injuries and death among the children. On hisradioprogram he began to speak out and questioned the safety of giving thechildren - especiallychildren with HIV - so many liveoralpoliovaccinations, rather than giving them the safer "killed" polio vaccine usedin the U.S. and Canada. Since that time, he tells me, he has beenpersecuted by thegovernment, World Health Organization and UNICEF, and hisradio station has been driven into bankruptcy. Kihura is appearing here atgreat personal and professional risk to tell his story. It is mygreathonor and privilege to introduce you to the recipient of the NationalVaccine Information Center'shumanitarian award - my good friendandcolleague, Kihura Nkuba.KIHURA NKUBA: I am indeed very honored to be here and to have been invitedby Barbara Fisher and Cathy Wiliams to come and tell my story, which isalso my people's story. Normally, when theyask you to come and speak, yousit there and think of what's the first word that you'd say, butinlistening to my brother Sunny Bates and Karen Forschner and Stanley Kopps(sp?) I was[unintelligible] and I was saying 'My God, if they can do thishere in one of the most powerfulcountries on Earth, what will happen tome- what will happen to us ? If they can do that in the UnitedStates, thenyou know when it comes to other countries like Africa and Asia and SouthAmerica, our chances are pretty slim. Nkuba Nkuba
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I did not start off as being a campaigner for other peoples' rights andpolio. I am a pan-Africanist, and by that I mean I believe in equality ofthought and practices that are rooted in the best interests of Africanpeople. I spent most of my time in England teaching film and television,and also running pan-African conferences for so many African people thatlive in the Diaspora to mobilize them to go anddo some work in Africa. Andby then eventually, I remember it was at a conference in Manchesteandsomebody said to me 'You keep telling us about helping Africa, and howevermuch you feel it'sabout swimming, one day you have to remove your clothesand jump into the water. Why don't you goto Africa yourself ?'And at that time my wife and I decided to borrow money and raise some, andgo and set up a radiostation. And we thought of a radio station because Ibelieve that just one person with a microphone anda radio can teach morepeople than a professor in a good university. So I started Great AfricanRadioin 1999 and, like most radio stations that you find in Africa, wedecided to broadcast in Africanlanguages and record African music and talkabout issues that concern people, like growing food andstoring grain andeating fruit and drinking clean water; and sanitation, and all the otherissues that werereally not (trained) into most of the urban stations thatbroadcast music.And on this program I ran a program that we call African metaphysics everynight, and some peoplecall it the hour of truth. It's a one and a halfhour program where I talk about literally anything I wish.And it became sopopular that people started organizing in theatres, in assembly halls, inchurches andmosques, and they paid to have me go and speak there. So itwas in one of these lectures I gave in onesmall town - and normally beforeI go, because there is so much interest in my lectures, there is likeminders and people who do crowd control, and they hide me somewhere, andthey introduce me lastminute so that people don't see me before they havepaid. Now, when I was in one of those hideouts, I sat with a preacher who startedtelling me a story of 1997during the National Immunization Days. In 1996the government of Uganda introduced what they call National ImmunizationDays. For those of you who don't know Uganda, Uganda is in East Africa. Itisat the foothills of the Mountains of the Moon just where River Nilebegins. And according to paleontology, archeology, molecular biology, it isone of the countries that is said to be the source of humanity because nowI think everybody agrees that humanity, from the stage of AustralopithecinetoHomosapiens, started in Africa - according to UNESCO anyway. So - and itis governed as ademocracy - quote, unquote - not that it's not a democracylike you've got here. It's just that I'm alwaysvery skeptical when I hearthe word 'democracy' mentioned. So they have a parliament. They haveapresident who is elected by all those that can vote and then they have aparliament. And in thenorthern part of Uganda just in one district thereis some trouble by people who think they should have been president and notthey guy who is in charge.So I was told by this preacher that when the government introduced theNational Immunization Daysin 1997, most of the children after vaccinationstarted dying. The preacher told me that they had somuch death that hiscassock, that he wears to go and conduct the burial ceremony, got old. Hesaid "I buried the children and my cassock got old."In the same room there was one mother who had four children, and she hidone and took three other children for vaccination, and three children diedand that one survived. Now when I went to do my
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 presentation and I askedmost of the people who were there - about two, three thousand people-eachperson had the same story. Now, in 1992 I believed that vaccination was a good thing. I didn'tknowvery much about vaccinationlike most people, and I thought the doctorsmust really know what they are doing. So I thoughtvaccination is a verygood thing. But I had an argument with my wife who didn't want mysontoreceive vaccinations. So I started reading about polio, and I think I knewat that time that therewere difficulties with the oral poliovaccine,which I called 'polio Sabin'. So in this lecture I said "Ihope it'snotthe 'polio Sabin'". And that was just the one remark I made. I said "I hopeit's not 'polioSabin'" Now all my lectures are broadcast every evening, so I'd go before a crowd -I'd give a lecture and they'd broadcast it on radio at night. And thefollowing day the government sent people to me to ask meabout my remark -you know, what I meant about "I hope they're not using the 'polio Sabin'."I didn't know that that was the polio vaccination they were using in thecountry, because I think I hadread from literature from the NationalVaccine Information Center - the small consumer - I had a small book, theconsumer guide, which must be one of the most well-read books in Ugandabecauseeverybody wanted a copy of it, including the health officials fromthe government.So they came to me and asked me - they said "What did youmean by 'you hope it's not polio Sabin'?" Isaid "Well, I hope it's notpolio Sabin because, according to the information I have, itwasstoppedinAmerica in 1996 because it was a cause of polio in America." And they said"Really ?There's no polio in America." I said "Yeah ?" The healthofficials told me they weren't vaccinating inAmerica, and I said "No,that's not true. I know they vaccinate in America." They said "No, becausethey eliminated wild polio over there." I said "What do you mean wild polio?" They said"Well, there's two types of polio. One is wild and one isdomestic." So I said "O.K. Of these two polios, which one are you tryingtoeliminate in this country ?" They said "We're trying to eliminate thewildpolio so you can have the domestic polio because the domestic polio can becontrolled." And Isaid "Why don't you leave the wild polio in the bush ?Why do you have to bring it - why do you haveto go and fight wild poliotointroduce it in the house ? At least if it is out there then you know atleastit's not threatening inside the house ?"But anyway, soon after that, articles started appearing in the newspapersabout myself, and theyclaimed that I was not really interested in mypeople - in African people, and that to demonstrate that, Ihad married awhite wife - that I had all my children locked up in England, and they hadbeenvaccinated, and I had stopped them coming to Africa because if theycame to Africa they'd probably pick up some disease. Now all this wasunfortunate for them because at the time my wife was in Africaandmychildren; and with all due respect, my wife was not white, but they triedto show that really Ihated (African) people so much that I couldn't evenmarry somebody from them. Now then at that time, the parliament of Uganda, the Minister ofInformation, the minister in charge of (the) presidency, started writingthe attorney general to close the radio station because I was broadcastinganti-government messages. And they sent me civil intelligence to come andinterrogateme. At that time they were saying it wasn't really polio theywere interested in. It was that I had anti-
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