By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery | News Junkie Post. As early as 1995, researchers at the University of Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, discovered that extremely sick Ebola-infected patients, including ones who had been comatose, could be saved by transfusions of blood from individuals who had recovered from the same Ebola infection.
By K. S. Harikrishnan, IPS | Staff, Rediff Business. American pharmaceutical companies, taking advantage of a Congressional provision called The Pediatric Exclusivity Provision, have been carrying out clinical trials in poor and developing countries where the drugs might never be available. In India there were over 2,000 deaths in the last four years from serious-adverse events (SAE) during clinical trials, many of which were illegally done without consent. These deaths and a recent discovery of drug testing on Bhopal gas victims have ignited the wrath of rights activists and prompted prominent legal institutions to begin to tighten the country’s drug regulation laws.
By Emmanuel Bruno Marino, AlterPresse | All-India Drug Action Network | Translations by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Within two months of the start of a campaign of vaccination with pentavalent vaccine in India by the World Health Organization (WHO), four healthy inoculated children died. Nevertheless, on April 16, 2012 Haiti announced that it would introduce the pentavalent vaccine Quinvaxem into its national immunization program at a cost U.S. $11 million. Expanded Vaccination Program Director Dr. Ronald Jean Cadet says the vaccinations will make up for “a lack of sanitary control over foreigners who can travel with these viruses into the country.” (English | French)
All-India Drug Action Network open letter | Ranjit Devraj, IPS | Haiti Chery. Pentavalent vaccines were introduced in India last year by the World Health Organization (WHO). Despite the widespread concern over their safety, efficacy and cost, India’s central health ministry approved their inclusion in its universal immunisation programme for seven provinces. Eminent pediatrician Jacob Puliyel likened the unpredictable deaths in vaccinated children to the penicillin sensitivity reaction and said it borders on criminality to be administering pentavalents to children without first testing them for hypersensitivity.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery (English) | Renaud Piarroux and Claire Hedon, Priorite Sante (French). Contrary to the daily predictions of mayhem from the mainstream press about Haiti’s cholera epidemic, Dr. Renaud Piarroux, who has access to up-to-date medical information and laboratory results about the epidemic, says it is waning and now exists only as a series of clusters in the North of the country. Based on his extensive experience in controlling epidemics of tropical diseases, he adds that cholera could be completely eradicated from Haiti in a few months, but not by the oral vaccination campaign promoted by Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population. (English | French)
By Tiken Jah Fakoly, You Tube (courtesy of KZoubeidi) | Wikipedia (biography) | Ados (lyrics) | Introduction by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Tiken Jah Fakoly is a musician who originates from the Ivory Coast and describes his mission as being “to wake up the consciences.” His lyrics speak for the voiceless. This fantastic song came to Haiti Chery’s attention via reader HenryG, in response to news of Haiti’s vaccine trial on poor women and children, along with the message “MINUSTAH (THE NGO TRASH CAN!!!)”. Indeed: we get it. It’s all very clear.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. A medical trial in Haiti — presumably of the oral cholera vaccine Shanchol — on poor women and children is being presented as a vaccination campaign. To avoid possible abuse it is essential that the Declaration of Helsinki guidelines be followed. The medical trial should be monitored by a panel of impartial observers; potential medical subjects should be advised of their rights, including the fact that they are entitled to informed consent, health monitoring, and participation that is voluntary, without coercion and with the option to withdraw at any time. UPDATES: April 12, Additional information about involvement of Harvard scientists in promoting oral vaccines for Haiti. April 17, Information on Shanta’s manufacture of the pentavalent vaccine Shan5 recommended for recall and destruction by the World Health Organization.
By the World Medical Association. Guidelines for all research on humans include a requirement to inform potential human subjects of their right to abstain or withdraw consent at any time. Potential subjects must be informed of the purpose, methods, funding sources, conflicts of interest and benefits of the research, as well as the risks of possible side effects. The guidelines also require researchers and their publishers to supply complete and accurate information on their findings, including negative results. (English | French)
By Aline Sainsoivil, Le Matin | Translation and editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Haiti’s Ministry of Public Health and Population (MSPP) presented a plan to strengthen its “Expanded Program of Immunization (EPI)” at a meeting on Monday, March 12, with UN organizations UNICEF, PAHO, and WHO. Might this strengthened EPI involve a plan to administer oral cholera vaccines? (English | French)
By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery. Prof. Richard A. Finkelstein, an eminent microbiologist and Nobel-Prize nominee for his pioneering studies on cholera, advises that for cholera “the best solution resides in providing safe drinking water and sewage disposal.” In Dec 2010, alarmed by the oral vaccination plans for Haiti, he wrote to the health officials, including Jon Andrus, the Deputy Director of the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) that the proposed use of Dukoral was “a useless and expensive waste of resources.” This vaccine was not adopted, but a campaign immediately started for the use of Shanchol, another questionable oral cholera vaccine. (English | French)
By Staff, Granma | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Cuban-led medical teams recently reported an entire year without death among cholera patients treated by Cuban physicians and Latin American Medical School (ELAM) graduates in Haiti. Since the start of the epidemic, a combined approach of epidemiological surveillance for cholera and community education has resulted in a 3.6 times lower death rate for the Cuban-led medics than all other medical groups working in Haiti.
By Dady Chery, Haiti Chery | Staff ([jep kft gp apr), AlterPresse. According to Haitian Director General of the Department of Public Health and Population (MSPP), Gabriel Timothee, initial tests of a cholera vaccine are scheduled to start in Haiti in February in “disadvantaged areas” of Port-au-Prince and the Plateau Central [meaning on poor folk in Cite Soleil and the region most impoverished by the collapse of farming]. “Studies of the vaccination will be conducted in collaboration with a center called Haitian Studies of Kaposi syndrome and opportunistic infections (Gheskio) and Zanmi Lasante (Partners in Health, PIH).” This is worrying because Kaposi syndrome and opportunistic infections are associated with AIDS, not cholera. (English | French)
By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery | Editorial Comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. From the moment cholera appeared in Haiti, a series of “experts” started to promote oral cholera vaccines for the country in articles that did not require a declaration of conflicts of interest or a critical review by independent scientists who study cholera. Here Rashid Haider, who is knowledgeable about the cholera trials in Bangladesh and Peru, provides a devastating rebuttal of the most recent of such articles, which extensively quotes Paul Farmer and appeared in the January 12th issue of Scientific American. DC
By Rashid Haider, Haiti Chery | Editorial comment by Dady Chery, Haiti Chery. Cholera vaccines are being pushed on Haiti, especially Shanchol, a vaccine that protects only 45% of those vaccinated during the first year and is unsuitable for controlling epidemic or endemic cholera. Shanchol is expensive. In addition, preparations of it for use in developing countries contain the dangerous mercury-based preservative thiomersal.