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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.

Link to BMJ news story

Reference: BMJ 2003;327:380 

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