Ahmed Isah’s false claims about HPV vaccine go viral in Nigeria

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A claim that the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine is dangerous for young girls and intended to depopulate Nigeria is making rounds both online and offline.

This claim was made by the host of the Brekete family radio & TV show, Ahmed Isah, popularly known as Ordinary President during the live broadcast of the programme on Human Rights radio 101.1FM on October 25, 2023.

The claim which was contained in a video clip from the programme on YouTube has gone viral amongst individuals and various social media platforms. The viral clip from the 5-hour-long video began at 2:32:48.

In the viral two-minute, 42-second footage, he was addressing his audience in pidgin English telling them not to allow their daughters to be vaccinated with the HPV vaccine.

…say make una sign, dem wan give cervical cancer vaccine to una daughters, make una no agree, America never get cure for cancer, China never get, UK never get, make una no forget wetin happen for Kano wey Pfizer kill many children. When the matter go court dem present document wey Parents sign… their defense be say na with the consent of the parents. Na Bill and Melinda Gate foundation na dem dey push this thing now…people wey talk say our population too much.

He stated that parents should not consent to let their daughters take the vaccine while referring to the incident in Kano where Pfizer was sued after some children died in a clinical trial when the state was hit by Africa’s worst ever meningitis epidemic in 1996.

He added that Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation were funding the vaccination and this is part of their plans to depopulate the country.

In October, the Nigerian government announced that it would vaccinate close to 8 million girls with the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine against the virus that causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer amongst women.

Cervical cancer, mostly caused by high-risk HPV infection through sexual contact, primarily affects the cervix and accounts for 99 per cent of cases.

According to WHO and UNICEF, there were 12,000 cases and 8,000 fatalities reported in 2020, making it the second most common cause of cancer-related mortality among women aged 15 to 44 in Nigeria.

 

CLAIM 1

HPV vaccine is harmful to young girls.

Screenshot of the viral video; Insert false verdict
Screenshot of the viral video. INSERT: False verdict.

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE.

A study by the United States Centre for Disease Control stated that the vaccine has been licensed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and it is  deemed safe and effective by the CDC.

According to the CDC, numerous studies involving hundreds of participants worldwide revealed there is no significant safety issues with the vaccination.

These studies’ moderate side effects included fever, dizziness, nausea, and pain where the shot was administered and as of March 2014, the United States had delivered more than 60 million doses of the HPV vaccination.

Zuliah Abdul-Azeez who specializes in Reproductive and Family Health at the Department of Health Promotion, University of Ilorin, Kwara state said the vaccine is safe and effective as there are over 160 studies demonstrating its safety.

“HPV vaccine is a product of scientific research that has been used for over 15 years in many developed and developing countries. Vaccinating a girl against cervical cancer with the HPV vaccine has been shown to be safe, effective and well tolerated, and one dose is protective against the cancer-causing HPV types,” she said.

She added that the vaccine has been endorsed by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) and the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA).

THE VERDICT

The claim that the HPV vaccine is harmful to young girls is FALSE, as the vaccine has been endorsed by relevant Nigerian health authorities and is considered safe for administration.

 

CLAIM 2

The HPV vaccine is being sponsored by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to depopulate Nigeria.

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE!

The World Health Organisation (WHO) alongside credible Nigerian media platforms such as The Cable and Premium Times reported that the vaccine is being provided for free by the Federal Ministry of Health through the NPHCDA with support from Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) and WHO, among other partners.

THE VERDICT

The claim that the HPV vaccine is being sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to depopulate Nigeria is FALSE, as it has the full backing of the Nigerian government through the Federal Ministry of Health.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected] | + posts

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

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