It has now been officially confirmed that in December 2012, 38 children were hospitalized after receiving the meningitis vaccine, MenAfriVac, during a vaccination campaign arranged by the Chadian government. News program France 24 stated that Saleh Ahmat Bodoumi, a former Member of Parliament in Chad, confirmed that seven of the most seriously affected children have since been evacuated from hospitals in the capital city of Ndjamena to the Republic of Tunisia in northern Africa to undergo further investigation and specialized treatment. 
This news was confirmed by the ‘Medical Xpress’ a health news service, which said Health Minister Mamouth Nahor N’Gawara made the following statement to the Agence France-Presse, the largest French news agency in the world (AFP):
“During the last phase of the vaccination campaign organized at Gouro (near the Libyan border) on December 11 to 15, 2012, unusual reactions were noted.”
N’Gawara added that “their state of health is not worrying.” 
However, the Medical Xpress, along with other websites, followed this story the next day by backtracking and stating the following information:
“In a statement, the country’s health ministry said tests “failed to establish a causal link between the clinical manifestations observed in the patients and the MenAfriVac vaccine.”
According to the statement, one child who never received the meningitis shot ‘complained of suffering from the same symptoms’ found in the other children.” 
However, a contact in Chad gave VacTruth an extremely different version of events. He said:
“The government and the World Health Organization have made up these facts.
The government banned journalists from visiting the hospital since the children brought in. (sic) All the children from Gouro received the vaccine.
Firstly, they (Government/WHO) collaborated with the school’s headmaster who locked the school’s main door before vaccinating all the children. The school headmaster told the children that anyone who refused the vaccine would be banned from school and be arrested.
Secondly, they went door to door and injected the babies over one year.”
If you find this event difficult to believe, then cast your mind back to 2007 when the news broke that children in Maryland had been forcibly vaccinated at gunpoint under orders from the state Attorney General, various state judges and the local school board director, all of whom illegally conspired to threaten parents with imprisonment if they did not submit their children to vaccinations. 
Another example of these bully boy tactics was seen in Malawi last year, where 131 children were vaccinated at gunpoint after their parents had refused the measles vaccine.  
A TRAGIC TIMELINE
Interestingly, the health minister ended his official statement by saying that the state of the paralyzed children’s health is not worrisome. If that is true, then why did the Chadian government move them to another hospital and why was this move done in secret?
Our Chadian contact informed me that the parents were not even allowed to know where the children were being evacuated to prior to evacuation. He confirmed that on the day that the children were evacuated, the N’Djamena International Airport had been closed to visitors!
VacTruth reported on the Chadian tragedy on January 6, 2013.  However, a team of experts in Chad did not begin to investigate the situation fully until January 9. The Prime Minister of Chad did not visit the sick children in hospital until a few days later. On January 13, VacTruth released a film of the TV footage of this visit that had been copied and forwarded to us. 
So, why did the Chadian government take so long to act on this appalling situation? According to France 24, the Health Minister did not make his announcement until January 9, five weeks after the incident occurred.
Another false representation of the facts being portrayed to the public is the following information which has been reported by several websites:
“In total, more than 100 million people in ten African countries have been vaccinated against the disease.”
It is a possibility that tens of millions of people were vaccinated with MenAfriVac, although highly unlikely. However, it is a total impossibility, by the WHOS’s own admission, that this number was vaccinated using the controlled temperature chain (CTC) implementations. In November 2012, WHO stated:
“Evidence of the heat stability of MenAfriVac® was validated by a team of experts from WHO, PATH, SIIL, and Health Canada. In collaboration with the government of Benin, the Meningitis Vaccine Project (MVP), Optimize, and the WHO regional office for Africa, a pilot use of the MenAfrivac® vaccine in a CTC will be conducted during the upcoming MenAfriVac® campaign in the northern part of the country, from November 15 through 25. Benin is the 10th country to introduce the vaccine, as well as the first country to work with the new CTC implementation guidelines, developed through WHO’s Immunization Practices Advisory Committee”.  (emphasis added)
BREAKING THE RULES, AT LEAST TWICE
So, what has been going on behind the scenes?
MenAfriVac was a pre-licensed vaccine still in the testing stages. It had been advertised by all the major organizations involved in the campaign, including UNICEF, FDA, CDC, The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, PATH, Meningitis Vaccine Project and WHO, as a vaccine that could be kept in a controlled temperature chain (CTC) at temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius for up to four days. However, according to the manufacturer, this information was not strictly true because they state:
“MenAfriVac should be stored and transported between 2-8ºC. Protect from light. The diluent should be stored at 25°C. It is recommended to protect the reconstituted vaccine from direct sunlight.” 
According to a report of a meeting which took place in October 2012 between the World Health Organization’s Immunizations, Vaccines and Biologicals group and the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (IPAC), the MenAfriVac vaccine had not been fully licensed and would not be due to be fully endorsed until 2013, at the earliest. 
The children of Gouro were vaccinated in December 2012, apparently with a vaccine that was still being tested which had not yet gained approval to be used outside of a cold temperature chain. According to sources, Dr. Diego Buriot read this message in French on Chad TV, a local television station:
“We have done all analyses, we believe that the vaccine was not the cause of the paralysis and the children are not in danger. It is clear that the vaccine is not the cause. All seems to show that the vaccine, which already has been largely used on the whole of the chain, does not produce vaccinal complications.
We have retested the vaccine, both at the level of the producer, as well as at the level of random checks, which are undecided. These will give their results within several weeks, but actually we are sure that the vaccine is not the cause.
What we are sure of is first of all that there is no danger whatsoever for the children, that is very important to say. All the clinical trials that we have done are completely normal other than this agitation, which is real, it translates the fear of the children.” [translated from French]
This is the first public acknowledgement admitting that the children had became ill and paralyzed after they had received the vaccination, as well as the first of likely many denials that the vaccine is not to blame.
So, who is Dr. Diego Buriot and who does he represent?
IT’S ALL IN THEIR HEAD
Dr. Diego Buriot is the Director of the WHO Office in Lyon, France. He is in charge of the Department of Communicable Disease Surveillance and Response and with impressive credentials and “considerable experience in the public health problems of developing countries.” 
Of course he would say that the vaccines did not cause the children’s injuries, even though he has admitted that all the test results have not yet been received and won’t be for several weeks. Remember his words?
“We have retested the vaccine, both at the level of the producer, as well as at the level of random checks, which are undecided. These will give their results within several weeks, but actually we are sure that the vaccine is not the cause.”
On January 20, 2013, the human rights organization ECOTERRA International and I wrote a letter to the resident representative of WHO in Chad, Dr. Saïdou Pathé Barry. We have checked the WHO website  regularly since submitting our inquiry, but we have not found any report or update. For this reason, we have been forced to make a public appeal to WHO and ask them to answer our fourteen questions regarding the MenAfriVac vaccination tragedy at their earliest convenience.
On January 22, we were given a copy of the original press release signed by The Minister of Public Health, Dr. Mamouth Nahor N’gawara. It makes interesting but predictable reading:
The findings were the same old same, although the release did admit to the inadequate hospital conditions, the lack of medical follow-up — especially on the psychological level — and the dialogue between the community and the health personnel as being insufficient.
No cause for the illness of the children appears to have been found. Interestingly, the Experts’ Recommendations stated:
• Make sure of a progressive yet fast return of the children to their families, and a medical follow up
• Maintain the dialogue with the families, the actors and the partners of the vaccination
• Reinforce the medical structure at the local level by adding a doctor and a state registered nurse for a better tracking of the health of the population and the routine activities
• Reinforce the health personnel capacity in crisis communication and rumor control
The experts want to stress that the analysis of the epidemiological, medical, clinical and paraclinical data do not permit us to establish a causal link between the clinical manifestations observed in the patients, and the MenAfriVac™ vaccine.
The symptoms observed in the patients resemble those, which have been described in the literature under several names:
• collective hysteria
• collective obsessive behavior
• mass psychogenic phenomenon
In other words, the “experts” are trying to say that the children’s condition is psychological. This move is growing in popularity governments and the medical profession uses the ‘its all in their heads’ phenomenon to minimize vaccine damage, thus shifting the blame to the parents or the victim.
They finish by stating, translated from French:
“The independent experts thank the population and the Chadian authorities for the confidence placed in them. They appeal to the diligence of the authorities to put quickly into action the recommendations, which will facilitate the return to a calmed down situation, beneficial to the correct proceeding of the vaccination programs.”
The press release also says that a final report will be completed by the health services in Tunisia.
What the press release fails to say is the following: out of the 500 children vaccinated, a total of 106 became ill. Only 38 of the sick children were hospitalized, leaving 62 sick children in Gouro to be cared for by relatives. 
HOW ARE THE CHILDREN DOING?
When I asked my contact if the conditions of the hospitalized children were improving, he replied:
“The children in hospital are still paralyzed. Most of the children still can’t stand up. Some have convulsions so badly that they need four people to attend. Those who have convulsions end with their up arms straight and their eyes are fixed and open without reaction.
We are not receiving enough information about the children the government and WHO took to Tunisia.
There are sick children left in Gouro who may be evacuated to Libya.”
We have yet to see the full outcome of the MenAfriVac vaccine tragedy. There is little doubt that these children are very sick and may need lifelong care and attention. They will likely be returned home, if they recover sufficiently, without adequate care and attention and their parents left without help or support to care for their children’s disabilities alone. Unfortunately, many third world countries do not have access to basic equipment such as wheelchairs that we in the Western world take for granted.
Surely it is now time for the Chadian government and the organizations involved to stop trying to cover up this tragedy and instead, look after all of the sick children properly. I believe that the real tragedy of this whole situation is in a few months, these children like thousands of others, will be forgotten and it will be ‘business as usual’ for all of the organizations involved.
The MenAfriVac vaccination will likely be given to millions more third world children across Africa. The vaccination of children with pre-licensed and unlicensed vaccines, which may be life-threatening, needs to cease. This is not health care, but a total disregard for human life in the name of profit.
[contentbox headline=”Acknowledgement” type=”info”]
I would like to thank Namaste UK Publishing and ECOTERRA International; Desiree Rover for translations; and my Chadian contacts.[/contentbox]
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