Tanzanian President John Magufuli has warned the country’s health ministry against rushing into embracing the Covid-19 vaccines promoted by foreign companies and countries.
Magufuli cast doubt on the global urge to develop a Covid-19 vaccine claiming that little has been done to help cure other diseases like tuberculosis, HIV-Aids, malaria among other infections.
“You should stand firm. Vaccinations are dangerous. If the white man was able to come up with vaccinations, he should have found a vaccination for Aids by now; he would have found a vaccination for tuberculosis by now; he would have found a vaccination for malaria by now; he would have found a vaccination for cancer by now,” he said.
“The Health ministry must know that not every vaccination is meaningful to our nation. Tanzanians must be mindful so that we are not used for trials of some doubtful vaccinations which can have serious repercussions on our health,” he added.
Little is known in Tanzania on the number of positive cases due to the government’s stern position on the virus.
Tanzania’s President John Pombe Magufuli had declared the South-East African country as Covid-free and did not place any curfew or confinement to prevent the spread of Coronavirus.
“We have lived for over one year without the virus because our God is able and Satan will always fail. The Health ministry should be cautious, and avoid the temptation to turn us into a country where vaccination trials are conducted freely,” he said.
“In a certain country, its girl children aged below 14 years, were vaccinated against what was said to be cervical cancer, but it later emerged that the vaccination was meant to make them infertile,” Dr. Magufuli said.
Tanzania is among the first countries in Africa which ordered the touted Madagascar Covid herb to curb the virus.
Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina is the substances biggest promoter and has marketed the herbal infusion called Covid-Organics.
Artemisia annua, the active ingredient in the substance, has a long history in its native China, where scientists discovered the efficacy of this active ingredient that made the plant a front-line weapon in the fight against malaria.
The substance has proven effectiveness against malaria, but is yet to be recognized globally in its use against COVID-19, either as a cure or as a preventative. It has however been used by Madagascar and other African countries in Covid patients.
Countries like the United States have warned their citizens from traveling to Tanzania to avoid risks of contracting the virus. The UK has listed Tanzania as well as the rest of the Southern African countries as high risk, therefore travelers from this region would be subjected to a mandatory 30 day self isolation in a hotel at their own expense.
In its update, the U.S. cautioned its citizen against traveling to East Africa, assigning Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Burundi Level 4 alert.