Our Polio Test Was Conclusive' - DR Haruna Kaita
Weekly Trust (Kaduna)
Posted to the web March 8, 2004
Dr. Haruna Kaita is the JNI scientists who conducted the test on the polio vaccines in India, and he is also the Dean, Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University Zaria. He spoke to Musa Umar Kazaure of our Kano Bureau on the outcome of their test shortly after he defended the result before the federal government experts in Kaduna. Excerpts.
WT:You are among the JNI scientists who went to India to conduct various tests on the controversial OPV which was alleged to have contaminants. What was the outcome of your tests?
Dr Kaita: Well, let me start first by thanking JNI for giving me the opportunity to serve humanity because what we did was not for the Muslim alone or the Christian alone, but for the generality of Nigerians who are prone to having these vaccines. Now on the Polio vaccine test result, I want to tell you that when I left Nigeria to India to conduct those test, I was praying and hoping that the tests will come out negative, that the vaccines were actually safe for our children. I prayed that I found no contaminants in them because I know how sensitive it will be if there is any contaminant especially with the posture of the government and some of my colleagues who are in league with government for obvious reasons.
I spent about 23 days in India mostly in laboratories conducting analysis on the samples of oral Polio vaccines I took along, using some of the most sophisticated laboratory equipments in the world which were even cited and recommended by WHO as number one. It is WHO that said GC-MS is the best equipment for discovering contaminants in drugs because of its sensitivity and its is state of the art in the world. So I used that machine and used Radio-Immuno assay in conducting the tests.
WT: What was the result you got from the tests.
Dr Kaita: The results were very interesting because I and some other professional colleagues who are Indians who were in the Lab could not believe the discovery. I thought at first that something was wrong with my calculations, them we repeated it again and again, and again, it kept giving us the same results of contaminants. Some of the Indian scientists who were in the lab also wondered how come a polio vaccine had such contaminants that were not suppose to be there. Some of the things we discovered in the vaccines are harmful, toxic; some have direct effect on human reproductive system. But I was surprised when one of the federal government doctors was telling me something contrary to what I have learnt, studied, taught and is the common knowledge of all pharmaceutical scientist, that estrogen cannot induce anti-fertility response on human. That is the most absurd thing I ever heard from a learned person who said he is a professor. I am a professional in my chosen field, I am a professional pharmacist, I am an authority when it comes to drug, and here is somebody telling me that I don't know the biological or pharmacological effect of a drug substance in human body. I found that argument very disturbing and ridiculous.
WT: Why should the manufacturers of these vaccines include these substances when they know that it could easily be detected.
Dr Kaita: That is the problem. Number one, these manufacturers or promoters of these harmful things have a secret agenda which only further research can reveal. Secondly they have always taken us in the third world for granted, thinking we don't have the capacity, knowledge and equipments to conduct test that would reveal such contaminants. And very unfortunately they also have people to defend their atrocities within our mist, and worst still some of these are suppose to be our own professionals who we stomach rely on to protect our interest.
WT: Were the government team not satisfied with the procedure you used in the test or what was their problem with your result.
Dr Kaita: My presentation before the JNI enlarged committee was purely academic, because WHO representatives were there, UNICEF, and all stakeholders, we invited everybody, we did not hide our report as they did to their (government's) own, we circulated it to everybody for further analysis because we were sure of our results. Let anybody interested go and vet the protocol we used, all the substances we discovered we gave them photocopies, to NAFDAC, WHO,UNICEF, USAID and all the stakeholders. Unlike their own which they continue to keep secret from the public because they know it is the same with ours.
WT: But after your presentation, were you able to convince them of the authenticity of your tests result.
Dr Kaita: Well, finally I had to define to them what a fake drug is, and concluded that the Oral Polio Vaccine is nothing but a fake drug too, and what do NAFDAC do to fake drugs, they burn them and prosecute those who import them into the country. So this has even strengthen our resolve that those who imported this fake drug in the name of Polio Vaccines must be prosecuted like any other criminals apprehended by NAFDAC. We are no more calling for their stoppage but for their prosecution because they are importing into Nigeria fake drugs in the guise of polio vaccine because they contain substances which are not suppose to be in them, and that is what amounts to fake drug. They don't have NAFDAC batch numbers, and they are contaminated with toxic substances.
WT: So would you say the meeting endorsed your result even though the federal government team still ask for another test in conjunction with your team of scientist.
Dr Kaita: Our own test is conclusive, we are sure of our results, they can go to anywhere in the world to verify it if they like. When I made my presentation before all the stakeholders, they asked all the questions they want to ask, and I defended the results, and it was agreed by all the people present, including the federal government team for the first time, that the vaccines contained contaminants. They only argue that all those batches of vaccine that were contaminated have been exhausted, and that new ones have been ordered by the federal government, so any state that wishing to still verify the safety or otherwise of the new ones should go to the cold stores of NPI at designated places in the states to collect them for testing. So now they agreed that the vaccines they have been giving to our children for the past 4years when the polio campaign started were contaminated, but what is the government going to do about those who have been trying to bury that fact from the people. Would the importers of such contaminated be left to go free? What plans has the government put in place to help the children who have given these toxic and contaminated vaccines in case they start reacting to them? Are we going to allow this to be swept again under the carpet like the Kano MININGITIS Trovan test just because the children involved are from poor parents? God will not leave the perpetrators of this crime against children in Nigeria to go free if the government refuses to act.
WT: Dr. Kaita, as a pharmaceutical scientist, what do you make of these vaccines generally, because this polio discovery has thrown a blanket suspicion on virtually all the vaccines administered on our children
Dr Kaita: Let me make something clear, I am not against vaccination per se because there are genuine vaccines that help prevents diseases, but when a fake drug is brought in disguised as a vaccine, we have obligation to kick against it. Professor Emiritus Shehu himself will bare witness to this if he recall the incidence of CSM (Meningitis) immunization campaign in an area called Mayobelwa in former Gongola State . The communities were given vaccines for protection against the CSM, but what happened? After just a few weeks, there was a massive outbreak unprecedented in the history of the country there, and it was mostly those who were given the vaccines that were affected in that out break. Even himself, the Professor, said at that time that he could not explain the phenomenon, but we know now from recent discoveries that those vaccines were carrying a virulent that induced the disease in those vaccinated. There are other instances in other third world countries like Philippines, Mexico and so on. This is what is casting doubts on the vaccines brought for immunization on people in the third world. And for your information, even America has stopped the use of OPV, and many western countries have also stopped it because they discovered that it causes the polio that it is suppose to protect people from.