by: Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Poliomyelitis, or polio, is a highly contagious viral infection that affects the nervous system. Children can be infected with polio when they eat or drink food and water contaminated with the virus or when they come into direct contact with an infected person’s faecal matter or saliva. The virus enters the body orally, and travels to the intestines where it multiplies. Eventually, the virus passes into the blood stream and attacks the nervous system. The virus damages nerve cells and can cause crippling paralysis, sometimes overnight. Generally polio affects children under three, but adults can contract it as well.
It is said that, before the availability of polio immunization, polio was common worldwide. In 1988, the World Health Assembly (WHA) the annual meeting of the ministers of health of all Member States of the World Health Organization, voted to launch a global goal to eradicate polio. In 1988, 350,000 children were being crippled by the virus in 125 countries. This Global Polio Eradication Initiative was the largest public health effort to date that brought the oral polio vaccine to more than 2 billion children. Since then, the incidence of polio has been slashed by 99 per cent. The Americas were certified polio-free in 1994, the Western Pacific in 2000 and Europe in 2002. Today more than three billion people - half of the world's population - in 134 countries and territories now live in areas certified polio-free.
The World Health Assembly passed a resolution to eradicate polio by the year 2000. But, to the end of 2003, indigenous polio was eliminated from all but six countries of the world: Afghanistan, Egypt, India, Niger, Nigeria and Pakistan. In 2006 the polio is endemic in four countries: Nigeria, India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, they have yet to stop the transmission of the indigenous wild poliovirus. Once polio transmission is stopped in every region, a strong, ongoing surveillance system must confirm three polio-free years have passed before global eradication can be certified. With only four endemic countries left in the world, polio transmission could be stopped in every country by the end of 2006. The world could then be certified polio-free by end of 2010.
Oral Polio Vaccine
There are two kinds of polio vaccine: Inactivated (killed) Polio Virus (IPV) which is a shot given in the leg or arm. The other is Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV), which is drops that are swallowed. Now, (OPV) is the WHO-recommended vaccine for polio eradication. Oral Polio Vaccine (OPV) is made with a live but weakened virus.
Oral Polio Vaccine is made of monkey kidney cells. In 1960 it was discovered that millions of polio vaccine doses produced in the early 1950's from monkey kidney cells were infected with simian virus 40 (SV-40), which was found in both Jonas Salk and Sabin polio vaccines. SV-40 is resistant to the "neutralizing effects" of the carcinogenic germicide formalin added to the vaccines, and was passed on to millions of people who now have SV-40 as part of their genetic structure. SV-40 is one example of a DNA polyoma virus. Polyoma (many tumour-causing) viruses cause prolonged infection where tissue is destroyed, integrate into the hosts genetic material, are capable of mutating a cell, may reproduce after coming into contact with a "helper" virus, enable the separate replication of the viral genome, can generate immune responses, and they can induce malignancy.
OPV & Cancer: “SV-40 is also a DNA virus. A study on DNA viruses was completed in 1966, and the results of the study were published in a 1967 edition of the American Journal of Pathology; the results clearly showed the known connection between such viruses and cancer: "A number of viruses containing DNA have been shown to induce tumors when inoculated into newborn animals. Members of the papovavirus group, mouse polyoma, and simian virus 40, all adenoviruses, are now recognized as oncogenic (cancer-causing) when tested by this method".
“The confirmation of the removal by one drug manufacturer, Lederle, has been made public at an international symposium in January 1997, where its representatives stated that all of Lederle's seeds had been tested and screened to assure that it was free from SV40. However, in litigation involving the Lederle oral polio vaccine, the manufacturer's internal documents failed to reveal such removal in all of the seeds. The absence of confirmatory testing of the seeds, as well as testimony of a Lederle manager, indicate that this claim of removal of SV40 and the testing for SV40 in all the seeds cannot be fully substantiated. These legal documents and testimony indicate that the scientific community should not be content with prior assumptions that SV40 could not have been in the oral polio vaccine. Only further investigation by outside scientific and independent researchers who can review the test results claimed in the January 1997 meeting and who can conduct their own independent evaluations by testing all the seeds and individual monovalent pools will assure that SV40 has not been present in commercially sold oral poliovirus vaccine manufactured by Lederle.”
OPV & AIDS: “The Origins of AIDS takes us to the former Belgian Congo to investigate this controversial claim put forward by journalist Edward Hooper. In his book, The River: Journey to the Source of AIDS, he links the onset of AIDS to a mass polio vaccination in the 1950's when nearly a million Africans were injected with an experimental vaccine derived from monkey organs. While experts agree that AIDS was born from human exposure to a chimpanzee virus, most dismiss the link to the polio.”
“New evidence shows that it is likely that the AIDS epidemic began from a mistake among polio researchers in the 1950s. Claudio Basilico of the New York University School of Medicine stated at London's Royal Society on September 11, 2000 that there is evidence of HIV in seven samples of the oral polio vaccine from 1950. The theory that the oral polio vaccine carried the chimpanzee virus that became AIDS is still controversial, as the vaccine scientists stated they never used chimpanzees as hosts.”
The above mentioned reports may be called as outdated, but Barbara Loe Fisher, Co-founder & President of National Vaccine Information Centre in a paper presentation (in Sep 2003 at http://www.909shot.com/) stated that the virus SV-40 exists and it causes a number of diseases.
In US, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has sought sanction on Oral Polio Vaccine in 2000. The vaccine manufacturer Lederle that sold 600 million doses from 1969 to 1999 was ordered to leave the country. Now, IPV is given by injection. Here, the question arises why OPV is banned in US and the same is given in India and elsewhere. What are the OPV ingredients that are served in India and which company manufactures it? Till now, the Lederle Oral Polio Vaccine consists of ‘monkey kidney cell culture’. (Vaccine Ingredients & Their Chemical Profiles,BAGETT, Saturday, 31 December 2005 at http://www.surfingtheapocalypse.net) According to Harvard Medical School professor Ronald Desrosier, the polio virus that is used in both Wyeth-Lederle's oral vaccine and Connaught's injected version is grown on monkeys' kidney tissue. "The danger in using monkey tissue to produce human vaccines," says Desrosier, "is that some viruses produced by monkeys may be transferred to humans in the vaccine, with very bad health consequences." Desrosier acknowledges that you can test monkeys before using their tissue and screen out those carrying harmful viruses. But he warns that you can test only for those viruses you know about--and that our knowledge is limited to perhaps "2% of existing monkey viruses.” While, this is also a fact that UNICEF procures all the oral polio vaccine for national immunization days – more than 10 billion doses since the campaign began. (UNICEF website)
Reaction: This is also a fact confirmed by scientists that for a few people (about one in 2.4 million), OPV actually causes polio. In rare cases, the oral vaccine used to prevent polio can cause polio paralysis in persons who are vaccinated and in people who are close contacts of a vaccinated person. About 8 to 9 cases of paralytic polio caused by the oral vaccine have been reported in the United States yearly. In the United States, the last case of "wild" polio was in 1979. Wild polio is naturally circulating polio that is not caused by the oral polio vaccine. Except for an occasional importation, all cases of paralytic polio since 1979 have been caused by the oral polio vaccine.
There are a number of cases even in India that the infants which are vaccinated against polio have been attacked by polio. How, it happens? If the OPV causes polio one in 2.4 million then how India can get rid of polio when nearly 165 million children are vaccinated. In 2006 (till 4 July) India reported 73 cases. Is it not so that these cases are actually the result of the OPV itself?
Why Only Polio? Polio elimination campaign is the largest public health initiative ever known. Since 1988, some two billion children around the world have been immunized against polio with the unprecedented cooperation of more than 200 countries and 20 million volunteers, backed by an international investment of US$ 3 billion. In view of the massive polio eradication campaigns and huge amount of money spent on them, one is quite surprised why polio receives the highest level of political attention. Even today, nearly 165 million children are given polio drops in India by mobilizing millions of people and investing billions of rupees. Whereas, the new polio cases do not exceed hundreds, for example in 2006 only 73 cases were registered till April. While on the other hand, nearly one million people die of tobacco and smoking in our country, but no ban or strict law is enforced to eliminate this epidemic. Thousands contract HIV but pre-marital and extra-marital relations are allowed and no effective precaution is being implemented. Also, it is home to malaria, hepatitis, cholera and so many endemic diseases but not so much attention, why?
Moreover, polio is now mainly a disease of poverty. Spreading through water or food contaminated with human waste, it is particularly devastating in crowded urban slums, where sanitation is poor and children are malnourished and out of reach of basic health services. India, having 44% of world’s poor, lacking proper sanitation and nutrition resources, do not have any Poverty Eradiation Initiative or programme, why?
Why they are so generous? The Global Polio Eradication Initiative, spearheaded by UN, UNICEF, WHO, Rotary International, the US Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Governments like US and others with a huge amount of US$ 3 billion. The polio cases were reported only in numbers not exceeding two thousand after 2000. Here also the same question remains unsolved why these institutions and governments are so generous as far as the polio is concerned, whereas the same UN imposed sanctions on medicines upon Iraq in 1991 that led to the death of half million children. Why is this contradiction? Is it not so that they have any hidden agenda?
Is OPV anti-fertilization? Here, in India we sometimes hear some voices of protest against polio vaccine being anti-fertilization and productivity. There is another same voice from Nigeria (LifeSiteNews.com, March 2004) that provokes the same idea that campaign to vaccinate Nigeria's youth against polio may have been a front for sterilizing the nation. Dr. Haruna Kaita, a pharmaceutical scientist and Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences of Ahmadu Bello University in Zaria, took samples of the vaccine to labs in India for analysis.
“Using WHO-recommended technologies like Gas Chromatography (GC) and Radio-Immuno assay, Dr. Kaita, upon analysis, found evidence of serious contamination. “Some of the things we discovered in the vaccines are harmful, toxic; some have direct effects on the human reproductive system," he said in an interview with Kaduna's Weekly Trust. "I and some other professional colleagues who are Indians who were in the Lab could not believe the discovery," he said.
”When asked by the Trust why Dr. Kaita felt the drug manufacturers would have contaminated the Oral Polio Vaccine, he gave three reasons: "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 equipment to conduct tests that would reveal such contaminants. And very unfortunately they also have people to defend their atrocities within our midst, and worst still some of these are supposed to be our own professionals who we rely on to protect our interests." Dr. Kaita is demanding that "those who imported this fake drug in the name of Polio Vaccines…be prosecuted like any other criminal."
”The northern Nigerian state of Kano has opted out of the WHO oral polio immunization drive -- officials there remain sceptical of the safety of the vaccine. Kano State Governor Mallam Ibrahim Shekarau told the BBC's Hausa service program in Kaduna that "We have investigated and discovered that there is danger in the polio vaccines. We have therefore opted out of the national immunization exercise against polio, until we are convinced of its efficacy and safety because a series of laboratory tests have revealed that the vaccines contain some substances which are capable of causing infertility, especially in females," he said, as reported in allAfrica's ThisDay on-line news source.”
This is also a serious question that requires attention. Actually, drugs and vaccines are very different. Drugs are used to cure sick people while vaccines are given to healthy people, primarily children. The standards for proof of safety and efficacy of vaccines should be higher than for any other pharmaceutical product we use.
The Task Ahead
After all, it is an established fact that the oral polio vaccine has been the most effective medicine to combat this disease. Till now polio is incurable and immunization is the only remedy. There is no other efficient way that roots out this curse. It is the virtue of this vaccine that polio which in 1988 crippled 350 thousand people in 125 countries has been minimized to only some hundreds in four countries. India that once had 30 thousand victims of polio now is almost polio free except some northern states like UP and Bihar. In 2006 India witnesses 137 new cases of polio, UP being on the top with 121. Most regretfully that 70% of those affected are Muslims. There are many reasons that have caused this disease still looming in Muslim areas; many Muslim parents have been reported to be suspicious and reluctant to give these drops to their dear ones due to widespread misconceptions, while many of them are, due to ignorance or poverty, even unaware of the consequences that lie head. We, as citizens of this country, have to resolve firmly that we have to get rid of this epidemic and free India from this disease and all such killing bugstobacco or drugs. As part of the global family, one cannot seclude oneself with such endemic diseases only on the basis of some misconceptions, though one has the right to clear doubts. Ulama and Muslim NGOs must come out
for an effective drive towards polio eradication and drugs free society.