Monday, 21 May 2007

Humantarian Pfizer fed Nigerian kids poison drug - allegedly

The devil's work in Africa

The sensationalism of the headlines made us want to cover our heads in shame as we tried to defend what was the indefensible.

The Muslim North in Nigeria had refused to allow their children to be vaccinated against polio which in many ways delayed the eradication of polio in Sub-Saharan Africa, in some cases; places that were once clear became vulnerable too.

Anyone who read the by-line in the Scotsman - "Polio vaccination dismissed as devil's work across Africa" would have sniggered; the ignorant savages do not know what is good for them.

With hindsight, there is much to reckon with this refusal, Kano State in Nigeria has just sued Pfizer for a $2.75 billion compensation for using 200 of their children as guinea pigs to test an unapproved drug - Trovan Floxacin - under the guise of humanitarian aid.

Help from the devil

There was an outbreak of measles, cholera and meningitis in 1996; the World Health Organisation and Pfizer offered to help the government with this problem but it transpired that these children were given drugs that lead to complications, deformities and even death.

It would appear some independent research also found some batches of medication to be contaminated, allegedly.

What is quite disturbing about this case if it does get to court and suffer proper judicial scrutiny is that fellow Nigerians might have been party to this rotten exercise whilst the gravitas of the WHO might have given legitimacy to an activity that is completely unethical and utterly beneath contempt.

The might of Big Pharma that Pfizer represents might have hoped to exploit rife corruption in Nigeria so that this almost "eugenics" exercise would not be exposed, someone must have been paid off being privy to what was about to happen to helpless, innocent, frail and trusting little children and their seemingly gullible parents.

Low-level hysteria

Once this rotten activity was discovered, it was no surprise that low-level hysteria was employed by the religious leaders and government to prevent vaccinations from taking place a few years on.

Who was to say another Big Pharma firm would not use the large demographic of deprived Africa to test some drug for the benefit of the more privileged West.

There are many including the rich shareholders of Pfizer who would wish this suit was both frivolous and calumnious, but I would contend that some legal advice must have seen serious merit in this case.

This reeks of the infamous Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male which ran from 1932 to 1972 in America where poor illiterate black males were denied treatment for syphilis. There are stringent laws guiding medical trials in the West, but with the oaf of Professor Eyitayo Lambo sitting in the Ministry of Health in Nigeria, it is unlikely that he would have been agitated at all by this rotten exercise, though it happened long before he became minister.

He could not be bothered about the prevalence of sub-standard drugs in Nigerian Teaching Hospitals because the case was not presented directly to him as it was to his predecessor.

To small a price to pay

$2.75 billion sounds like a high price to pay but no price can be high enough a penalty for subjecting helpless innocent children to deafness, paralysis, brain damage and blindness with drugs that cause such immeasurable misery.

Let us see, with revenue of over $48 billion in 2006 if the price on the head of an African child is worth anything compared to if this exercise had been conducted in the West.

The deception in the guise of humanitarian aid in a very vulnerable situation is just unforgivable, I am all too livid with rage as I now understand the reticence of the people to take on new vaccinations, they were duped, robbed, betrayed and literally killed off for possible block-buster drug success - not only should Kano State be suing Pfizer, Nigeria and Africa as a whole should be scrutinising what other gifts we have been made to ingest in the guise of prophylaxis or therapy when in fact we were guinea pigs in an unconscionably malevolent trial.

Time to dump your Viagra pills down the drain and make sure they are properly flushed away before your toilet bowl thinks it is dysfunctional too.

Addendum:

Read the last paragraph as a metaphor, a reader left this comment - Actually, it is probably a bad idea to dump much Viagra in a toilet. Hormones and psychoactive drugs are starting to show up in the blood of aquatic organisms as well as in many bodies of fresh water in the United States and other industrialized countries. - I would agree, the prospect of seeing marine life cured of erectile dysfunction would be to horrific to countenance. Thanks Don.

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