“My wife and I had a long dialogue about how we were going to take the wealth that we’re lucky enough to have and give it back in a way that’s most impactful to the world,” he says. “Both of us worked at Microsoft and saw that if you take innovation and smart people, the ability to measure what’s working, that you can pull together some pretty dramatic things.
“We’re focused on the help of the poorest in the world, which really drives you into vaccination. You can actually take a disease and get rid of it altogether, like we are doing with polio.”
But the real story is that while polio has statistically disappeared from India, there has been a huge spike in cases of non-polio acute flaccid paralysis (NPAFP)– the very types of crippling problems it was hoped would disappear with polio but which have instead flourished from a new cause.
There were 47,500 cases of non-polio paralysis reported in 2011, the same year India was declared “polio-free,” according to Dr. Vashisht and Dr. Puliyel. Further, the available data shows that the incidents tracked back to areas were doses of the polio vaccine were frequently administered. The national rate of NPAFP in India is 25-35 times the international average.
According to the Polio Global Eradication Initiative’s own statistics there were 42 cases of wild-type polio (WPV) reported in India in 2010, indicating that vaccine-induced cases of polio paralysis (100-180 annually) outnumber wild-type cases by a factor of 3-4. Even if we put aside the important question of whether or not the PGEI is accurately differentiating between wild and vaccine-associated polio cases in their statistics, we still must ask ourselves: should not the real-world effects of immunization, both good and bad, be included in PGEI’s measurement of success? For the dozens of Indian children who develop vaccine-induced paralysis every year, the PGEI’s recent declaration of India as nearing “polio free” status, is not only disingenuous, but could be considered an attempt to minimize their obvious liability in having transformed polio from a natural disease vector into a man-made (iatrogenic) one.Gates’ polio vaccines have likewise been blamed for deaths and disabilities in neighboring Pakistan, with offices of the government in that country even recommending that the vaccines be suspended.
The Indian government finally had to fund this hugely expensive programme, which cost the country 100 times more than the value of the initial grant,” their report stated.
From India’s perspective the exercise has been an extremely costly both in terms of human suffering and in monetary terms. It is tempting to speculate what could have been achieved if the $2.5 billion spent on attempting to eradicate polio, were spent on water and sanitation and routine immunization.
. . . . . the polio eradication programme epitomizes nearly everything that is wrong with donor funded ‘disease specific’ vertical projects at the cost of investments in community-oriented primary health care (horizontal programmes) . . . . .
. . . . .This is a startling reminder of how initial funding and grants from abroad distort local priorities.Indeed, as the doctors assert, one cannot vaccinate away disease like polio. Apart from the fact that there has never been a study conducted which proves a vaccine either safe or effective that was not connected to a drug company or a vaccine maker, the so-called cure, if it comes under the guise of a vaccine, may well be as bad if not worse than the disease itself.
Polio underscores the need for a change in the way we look at so-called "vaccine preventable" diseases as a whole. In most people with a healthy immune system, a poliovirus infection does not even generate symptoms. Only rarely does the infection produce minor symptoms, e.g. sore throat, fever, gastrointestinal disturbances, and influenza-like illness. In only 3% of infections does virus gain entry to the central nervous system, and then, in only 1-5 in 1000 cases does the infection progress to paralytic disease.
Due to the fact that polio spreads through the fecal-oral route (i.e. the virus is transmitted from the stool of an infected person to the mouth of another person through a contaminated object, e.g. utensil) focusing on hygiene, sanitation and proper nutrition (to support innate immunity) is a logical way to prevent transmission in the first place, as well as reducing morbidity associated with an infection when it does occur.
Instead, a large portion of the world's vaccines are given to the Third World as "charity," when the underlying conditions of economic impoverishment, poor nutrition, chemical exposures, and socio-political unrest are never addressed.The fact is that the root cause of diseases like polio are not a lack of vaccination but poor sanitation standards, poverty, lower living standards, chemical pollution, and lack of proper nutrition. If money were spent correcting these ills, as opposed to providing ineffective (in their stated purposes) and dangerous vaccinations, then polio and many other such diseases could indeed be eradicated.
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