Plans by the World Health Organization (WHO) to eradicate poliomyelitis in Nigeria by the end of the year face tough opposition. A Muslim organisation in the north of the country claims the oral vaccine contains anti-fertility substances, and is calling for a halt to the programme.
Ibrahim Datti Ahmed, secretary general of the Supreme Council for Sharia, says they base their claim on evidence of a US policy to promote depopulation in African and Muslim countries. He says that WHO has been developing anti-fertility vaccines for more than 20 years, using the hormone human chorionic gonadotrophin.
A WHO spokesperson denies the allegations, saying they are unfounded and that the criticisms are politically motivated.
Reference: BMJ 2003;327:380