Bill Gates Polio vaccination program in India have not paralysed 47,000 children. According to the True Fiction.com, The eRumor surfaced in 2013 when the website Nsnbc International published a report that claimed Bill and Melinda Gates hired Bollywood actors to encourage Indians to take oral polio vaccine in a campaign that went horribly wrong:
“Polio is a terrible disease that kills many and paralyses others. Fifty years ago it was widespread around the world. When you talk to people who remember polio in the United States, they’ll tell you about the fear and panic during an outbreak and describe grim hospital wards full of children in iron lungs that maintained their breathing. At its peak in the United States in 1952, polio paralysed or killed more than 24,000 people.”
“But in 2011 alone, the Bill and Melinda Gates’ polio vaccine campaign in India caused 47,500 cases of paralysis and death.”
It further read as: “To eliminate the risk of VAPP, as of January 1, 2000, OPV was no longer recommended for routine immunisation in the United States. However, OPV continues to be used in the countries where polio is endemic or the risk of importation and transmission is high. OPV is recommended for global polio eradication activities in polio-endemic countries due to its advantages over IPV in providing intestinal immunity and providing a secondary spread of the vaccine to unprotected contacts.”
The rumour is based on an editorial in the Indian Journal of Medical Ethics. The editorial said 47,500 new cases of non-polio AFP reported in India in 2011 was “directly proportional” to doses of OPV administered there. The statistic was used to argue the larger point that donor funded “disease-specific” projects should be dropped in favour of community-oriented primary health care programs.
Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science and the World Health Organization launched a study on the rise of AFP cases in India. According to the study:
“This large increase in non-polio AFP cases, which represent AFP cases caused by agents other than poliovirus, probably reflects the excellent implementation of the expanded definition of AFP and highly sensitive surveillance and detection methods used by NPSP in India from 2005 onwards, in contrast to the other polio-endemic countries, i.e., Pakistan, Nigeria, and Afghanistan, where the expanded AFP surveillance is not in place.
“The large increase in the non-polio AFP rate from 1.45 and 1.97 per 100,000 children during 1998–2003 to 16.20 in 2011 further reflects the excellent operational performance of the expanded AFP surveillance in India.”