KAMPALA – The last two decades have brought with them uncertainty with new diseases emerging from nowhere and everywhere.
It is hard to tell whether there has been a genuine outbreak or these diseases were only imagined for some secret agenda.
However, health enthusiasts are disturbed with the endless pressures from the World Health Organisation, centre for disease Control and the African Governments to have their citizens vaccinated against this and the other without establishing the motive behind the push. If all factors remain constant, our bodies will in the next 10 years be a safe haven for vaccines especially those that are still under trial.
I personally don’t know how many Africans sit on the board of these international health bodies but I think these two are doing African a dis-service. If their motive is to use vaccines to weaken our immunity, reduce fertility, prepare our children’s bodies for chips, mess up their DNA, reduce our innovativeness and reduce our life span or to contain our population so as to have more space for their activities on the African continent, they have so far failed miserably.
They have only succeeded with getting our children suffer from endless bacterial and viral infections. It is a call to African leaders to invest more money in health related research so that we are not held hostage.
It began with compulsory yellow fever vaccination for travelers, then covid 19 and we hope there will not be a need for monkey pox vaccination in the near future.
The World Health Organisation has constantly reminded us that unless 70% of the population is vaccinated, referring to both adults and children, we are not yet safe from Covid 19. That means everybody, 5years and above, needs to get vaccinated. According to them, progress has been made in vaccinating adults 18 years and above but not good enough to say we are out of danger, children may pause another danger to their adult relatives hence a need to have them vaccinated. The fact that they have enough vaccines for those aged 12 years and above means they have already taken a decision to have everyone vaccinated including children of 5 years to 11 for whom they have set aside what they termed a Paediatric dose of the Pfizer vaccine.
The Ministry of Health is on record for having revealed they were arranging to vaccinate 16 million children aged between 5 and 12 years using different Pfizer vaccines. According to some circles in the Ministry of health, vaccination of children is expected to be carried out in the months of May and June, a plan that has perplexed parents.
As this hullabaloo was going on as to how and when, the Minister of Education Janet Museveni told the press the government will not force children to get vaccinated against Covid-19 without the consent of their parents. Dr Charles Olaro, the director of clinical services at the Ministry of Health, said they are relentless on vaccinating children aged 5 to17 years mid this year.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director-General of Health Services at the ministry, denied the allegations in a statement issued on Friday last week. Dr Mwebesa said they have not even concluded on when to start the exercise.
“The ministry would like to reiterate that no child will be vaccinated against the consent of the parent, guardian or caretaker. Parental consent will be upheld during the vaccination of children,” meaning arrangements are underway to have the exercise in place although discussions are still underway to roll out a mass vaccination programme targeting all school going children.
However, health experts have also voiced their concern saying children are in no way at risk of death from Covid-19 with their mortality rate at 0.25 percent because they have a strong natural immunity that stands to be threatened by the vaccines.
The Ministry of Health spokesperson, said they are still having engagements with the ministry of education when to commence vaccination in schools as their primary aim was to cut transmission and infections as opposed to fighting severe illness among the youngsters.
In the daily Covid-19 updates released on June 4, the Health Ministry indicated that there were 35 new cases registered but did not say if any of them were children to warrant the panic for vaccination.
To avoid any legal obstacles, the Government of Uganda had in the last few months embarked on a plan to amend Section 38 of the Public Health Act to get rid of parental consent for vaccination of children. The sections would also make it mandatory for all parents to vaccinate their children against diseases of public concern lest they are fined four million or a custodial sentence of 6 months.
The need to vaccinate learners comes after schools failed to adhere to the school re-opening guidelines that were aimed at creating a safe environment for schools amidst the Covid-19 pandemic.
One of the guidelines was that schools were supposed to carry out surveillance to enable health and education officials to identify possible clusters of disease. But few schools provided daily updates; they were torn between paying allegiance to the law and parents who pay school fees as well as the government that licences their operations.
Whereas the law required consent before vaccination, President Museveni is on record for having directed authorities in schools not to admit teachers for the new term without proof of vaccination. I am only wondering what will stop the President from exercising his executive powers to order schools to lock out un-vaccinated children. This in effect would mean obtaining consent through duress and undue influence hence making the exercise compulsory. We should not forget we live in a country where commitments are made today by one official and retracted the following day; you cannot trust what government says especially if a given program is accompanied with a financial incentive from the World Bank or international money magnets.
Scientific research has proved children are not susceptible to covid 19 as much as adults. It is this school for thought that sent these haters back to the laboratory to introduce new variants that could be used as a rollercoaster to justify vaccinating children against Covid-19. In an attempt to lure the public into embracing the vaccination program, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng told the press many officials at her Ministry of Health had vaccinated their children including her 12-year-old daughter.
The other time when she was taking her own jab, she invited the press to be present, why did she vaccinate her own child in private? We expect her to lead by example so that others can emulate. We also want to see videos and pictures of grandchildren of some people being vaccinated for confidence building; otherwise it is a big no for me.
While reading one of the newspapers over the weekend, I saw a headline alleging Uganda had recorded some cases of covid 19 and one death, I knew something was up to something. I keep wondering why our Mnistry of health has allowed itself to be used as a mouth piece for these selfish vaccine mongers. They seem so determined to put their vaccines to use; one would think the Ministry of Health, WHO and CDC love our children more than we do.
Just this morning again, I saw a mocking post on how the Government of Uganda was plotting to re-introduce compulsory vaccination for children against covid 19. It is alleged that the plan is to threaten schools to allow mass immunization of children without the consent of parents lest they risk being closed. Fearing a surprise, many parents are planning to keep their children home until they get assurance from Government that the threat is not real. However, it does not matter how much public relations at play, vaccination of children in schools is around the corner, and it is just a matter of time before it happens, after all the vaccines have already been procured.
The last statistics of vaccinated Ugandans showed more than a half of the adult Ugandan population had opted out of undergoing covid vaccination for various reasons. One wonders why the Government is now pushing down the pressure to children before ensuring that the parents are fully vaccinated. I don’t usually agree with former Presidential candidate Joseph Kabuleta on many fronts but am with him on the fight against compulsory vaccination. It does not matter what vaccine they intend to use, the white man who makes those drugs has never had any love for black skins. I know many Ugandans fear talking against vaccination but some of us are ready to face the consequences for the sake of our children now and in the future.
I keep wondering why this government has bothered to find out why parents have found themselves voluntarily allowing government to immunize their children against Polio, Measles, Tuberculosis, Diphtheria, Tetanus, Hepatitis B, whooping Cough among other imported diseases? To say the immunization chart should be expanded to include vaccination against covid 19 for children is to ask for too much from parents.
The motive of any vaccinations program world-wide is to protect against life-threatening diseases. No doubt millions of premature deaths have been prevented, but it cannot be said covid 19 is such a big threat to children.
If parents cannot see the benefits associated with vaccinations and immunizations, not even a law can compel them to think otherwise. We have reached a point where parents would rather keep their children at home rather than take them to school only to be forced into mandatory vaccination.
To parents, vaccines are becoming a victim of their success; many have never witnessed the debilitating covid 19 threat affecting children hence complacency. Anti-vaccination sentiments are growing fast in Uganda due to the controversial and hotly disputed link between immunizations and other health hazards.
The internet worsens fears regarding vaccination safety, as at least a dozen websites publish alarming information about the risks of vaccines. Increasing numbers of parents are refusing vaccinations and immunizations for their children, apparently fearing vaccines more than the underlying diseases that these vaccines seek to protect against.
Now that religious and cultural leaders have refused to come on board, it is time for the government to start giving priority to the plight of its future rather than the conditioned pounds and dollars the white man is always ready and willing to give.
One is left wondering if money is more important than the future unless the biblical dragon in the book of revelations is at work. These selfish men and women in the white skin never give anything to African for free unless they can reap 100 times more than what they have injected or to achieve a selfish hidden agenda.
Mr. Roger Wadada Musaalo is a Lawyer, human rights activist, researcher, and politician