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At UN, Gates Foundation Reply on Vaccination Sickening 38 Chadian Kids

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, March 2 – The UN is often said to be too close to governments, for example quietly with that of Sri Lanka as 40,000 civilians were killed in 2009.

   But the same may be said, at least in Chad, of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which the UN invited in to speak to the press on February 27.

   Inner City Press asked a question about Chad, in response to which the Gate Foundation on the evening of March 1 replied with... a report from Chad's Ministry of Health. 

  But they may be part of the problem. They diagnose their own citizens as suffering from "collective hysteria and obsessive behavior." (See below.)

   Earlier this year, following an investigation into 38 Chadian children harmed by a meningitis vaccination campaign done wrong, questions were raised about the Gates Foundation and Chad's Ministry of Health that were, at that time, not answered.

  Chad's Health Minister Mamouth Nahor NGawara said only that “during the last phase of the vaccination campaign organized at Gouro on December 11 to 15, 2012, unusual reactions were noted.”

  The Gates question was raised: “What part does the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) play within the campaign? Who is responsible for administering the funds provided by the BMGF?”

  With no answered, when the UN Department of Public Information sent out invitations to a February 27 briefing by Dr. Chris Elias, President of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundations’ Global Development Program, Inner City Press signed up.

A number of Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation staffers including Michal Fishman and Steve Landry accompanied Chris Elias, who spoke for example about an upcoming event in the United Arab Emirates which he said Secretary General Ban Ki-moon will attend, to praise donations from the UAE.

When UN Department of Public Information official Stephane Dujarric called on Inner City Press to ask a question at this on the record briefing, Inner City Press asked about the vaccination problems in Chad.

  BMGF's Dr. Elias replied that he was aware of the meningitis vaccination campaign in Chad (and twenty other countries in the Meningitis Belt), but said he was not aware of this case. Video here.

  Off camera a staffer said he was aware, that some “government” action led to illness and promised to send more information to Inner City Press, which gave the staffer all the contact information: cell phone number and e-mail address.

  Five hours later, no information has been provided. From Mr. Dujarric came a letter complaining about Inner City Press' reporting - click here for more on that. As Inner City Press noted at the time, these questions should be answered. This is called reporting.

  After an article on this, and more, at 9:40 pm on the evening of Friday, March 1 came a response from Michal Fishman of the Gates Foundation, forwarding an e-mail from Steve Landry consisting entirely of a statement by the same Chadian Health Minister Mamouth Nahor NGawara:

The independent international experts in charge of the in-depth investigation into the unusual reactions recorded during the vaccination campaign against meningitis between [11 and 15 Dec 2012] at Gouro (West-Ennedi) presented their preliminary findings on Friday [18 Jan 2013] at SEM. Their investigation was based on 4 axes:

- Analysis of available documents;

- Analysis of the organization of the vaccination campaign and vaccine quality;

- Interviews of the different parties involved;

- Medical examination of the 36 cases in the 2 hospitals in N'Djamena.

As a result from the different analyses, discussions among the team, and after meetings or contacting those implicated (or not implicated), in the event, the experts have come to the preliminary conclusions below:

Expert Findings:

The vaccination campaign organized in Gouro was conducted under normal conditions by staff who are experienced in implementing mass campaigns and routine vaccination programs.

The conditions of hospitalization, in particular the medical care at the psychological level, and the dialogue between the community and the health staff were insufficient.

The crises are triggered by noise, visits by foreigners, and the occurrence of crises among other patients.

Apart from these agitated periods, the children lead normal lives.

The patients are aged between 8 and 25 years, and with 77 percent of them being girls, i.e. 27 out of a total of 35.

A child that had not been vaccinated complains of similar symptoms.

All the different medical examinations performed on the patients were normal. The neurological examination on patients at the request of the experts also concluded that all was normal.

The same MenAfriVac vaccine lot 127M1033, used in Gouro, was used in the entire Ennedi region.

The expert reports from WHO on the vaccine lot at the level of the manufacturer Serum Institute of India (SII) showed no manufacturing defect.

The MenAfriVac vaccine, prequalified by WHO in 2010, has been subjected to all the required tests before being used. To date, more than 100 million people have been vaccinated in 10 countries (Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger, Cameroon, Nigeria, Ghana, Sudan, Senegal, Chad, and Benin). The vaccine will be further introduced in 16 African countries. Since the introduction of the vaccine, no case of meningitis "A" has been recorded in vaccinated individuals.

Expert Recommendations:

- Ensure the progressive but rapid return of the children to their families and a medical follow-up;

- Maintain a dialogue with the families and vaccination stakeholders and partners.

- Reinforce the medical structure at the local level through the addition of a doctor and a qualified nurse for a better health follow up in the populations and routine immunization activities.

- Reinforce the ability of the health staff in crisis communicationand the management of rumors.

The experts wish to specifically state that analysis of the epidemiological, medical, clinical, and diagnostic tests data has not been able to establish a causal link between the clinical manifestations observed in the patients and the MenAfriVac vaccine.

The symptoms observed in patients are similar to those described in the literature under several names:

- Collective hysteria

- Collective obsessive behavior

- Mass psychogenic phenomenon

The independent experts thank the population and the authorities in Chad for their confidence. They request that the authorities be diligent in the implementation of the recommendations that will facilitate a return to a peaceful situation that will be to the benefit of the vaccination programs.

The full preliminary report has been submitted to the governmental authorities and will be finalized by the Health Service in Tunisia, where 7 of the 35 patients from N'Djamena were evacuated.

The Ministry of Public Health has worked in collaboration with the experts whilst guaranteeing the complete independence of the investigation. The Ministry welcomes the experts' conclusions in reassuring the patients, their families, and the general public of the health status of the evacuated patients from Gouro, the quality of the MenAfriVac vaccine, and the overall importance of vaccination.

N'Djamena, 21 Jan 2013
The Minister of Public Health
Dr Mamouth Nahor N'Gawara

  So Chad's Health Ministry diagnose these Chadian children as suffering from "collective hysteria and obsessive behavior."

  Here's what should be answered, including by the UN World Health Program to whose Michel Jose Zaffran the Gates Foundation's Steve Landry forwarded the Chadian government statement which would become the only answer so far to Inner City Press:

To the UN/WHO and the Government of Chad

Why they have taken the sick children back to Faya where there are no medical facilities or equipment?

Why have they not listened to the parents and in the first place vaccinated these children without the consent of the parents and by force in an area far outside the Meningitis Belt.


Why have they ignored reports that many of these children are still suffering from seizures and why no independent medical team was called in to provide true medical help to these children?

Why are they not providing them with clean water and good quality food and giving them access to good long term medical care?

  Watch this site.

Footnote: Recently UN DPI has set up on the record "brown bag" sessions with, for example, the UN's expert on the prevention of genocide (about Syria), the now gone head of UN Security, a UNHCR official (about Syria, all on the record and helpful.)

  The February 27 session felt different, perhaps because a non-UN entity flush with cash was allowed, essentially, to advertise. On February 22, UNCA (a/k/a the UN's Censorship Alliance) similarly ran a "press conference" which devolved into an advertisement for the German car company BMW. There, questions about environmental impact were referred to BMW. Will these questions be answered? Watch this site.

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