Africa isn’t the place to be right now; Ebola in the west, polio in the middle due to mad mullahs and now the Catholic Church has weighed in against tetanus vaccination in Kenya.

Given maternal and neonatal tetanus causes 110,000 entirely preventable deaths in Africa every year, I would have thought the church would be keen to see Kenya’s Catholics producing as many viable offspring as possible – to give the clergy the widest choice of children to abuse later. But no! Apparently it’s all a secret government plan to sterilize women and control population growth. The dress-wearing bigots who run the Catholic Church over there infer this because the vaccination programme targets women between the ages of 19 and 49. Aiming a campaign to prevent maternal and neonatal tetanus at women of child-bearing age isn’t because they’re of – errrrrr – child bearing age, it’s because it’s a secret contraception plot. Obviously.

According to the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bigots, sorry, Bishops:

When injected as a vaccine to a non-pregnant woman, the Beta HCG sub unit combined with Tetanus toxoid develops antibodies against Tetanus and HCG so that if a woman’s egg becomes fertilised, her own natural HCG will be destroyed rendering her permanently infertile. In this situation the Tetanus vaccination has been used as a birth control method.

Yes, there has been research looking at delivering long-term birth control using human chorionic gonadotrophin (hCG) in this way. Because hCG is a hormone the body has to be fooled into treating hCG as foreign. And because there have been trials using modified toxoid vaccines do deliver hormones to see if they can be made to work as long-term contraceptives, ergo all toxoid vaccines are now contraceptives. Seeemples!

There were many conspiracy theories regarding this at the time and people who knew FA about biochemistry used pregnancy test kits to see if hCG was present. But such kits are made to analyse urine or serum, not vaccines. The thiomersal preservative and the aluminium salt adjuvant in the vaccine gave some false positives (adjuvants make vaccines work better). It was pointed out at the time that these tests were entirely inappropriate and the results were nonsense. But neither basic biological plausability nor proper and appropriate labs tests clearly showing hCG was NOT present could stop the unholy alliance of pro-life dickheads, anti-vaccine fuckwits and conspiracy theorist nutjobs propagating this Utter, Utter Bollocks (µ²B) ever since.

So, unlucky Kenyan Catholics are going to die horribly and unnecessarily. But superstition is always unlucky, principally because it’s always unlucky to be monolithically stupid. This one is a belter, though, and should get on the ‘Best Of’ list with Archbishop Chimoio in Mozambique’s claims condoms were deliberately infected with retroviruses to spread HIV. This list includes other ‘saints’ such as Pope Pius X who had the great idea that children as young as 7 should go to confession – and be locked in a dark box with a sexually-frustrated authority figure who told them if they revealed any of what went on, there was a lake of fire waiting for them for all eternity. That was never really going to end well, was it?

I note Dr Stephen Karanja, the chair of the Catholic Doctors Association in Kenya, told the BBC

The ministry must stop making noise and allow the Church to sample the vaccines before they are given.

I’m really glad Karanja is not my physician. I wonder what his position would be on me sampling the watered-down sherry and skanky wafers so beloved of his church to see if they’ve transubstantiated into flesh and blood? It’s 30 seconds work in the lab.

It is highly unlikely Karanga or the Church would allow this – but it looks like Karanga is being hauled in front of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board for telling lies about hCG being found in the vaccine. The Catholic Church has refused to send representatives to explain themselves to the Committee and despite proof that the tetanus vaccine is just that and NOT a contraceptive and dose NOT contain hCG they continue to peddle the lie.

All reliable tests – e.g. those conducted by independent scientists using validated test methods – have conclusively disproven their claims. Yet they continue to propagate the lie and add to the toll of preventable deaths in Kenya. Why? No one can argue with the Catholic Church’s impressive track record of sexually and physically abusing children as well as discriminating against women – but this is taking the piss….