Tanzania’s president rejects Covid 19 vaccines, says they’re ‘dangerous and unnecessary’
Tanzania’s Health Minister Dorothy Gwajima has reiterated the government’s suggested hygiene practices, which include drinking plenty of water and taking local herbs, which the government claims, without evidence, can combat the virus.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) is urging Tanzania to follow science, a day after its president said COVID-19 vaccines were “dangerous and unnecessary”. If people trusted God and used alternative remedies such as inhaling steam.
President John Magufuli’s contradiction of the global medical consensus and his government’s failure to publish national coronavirus data since mid-2020 has exasperated health experts.
“Urging #Tanzania to ramp up public health measures such as wearing masks to fight #COVID19,” tweeted Matshidiso Moeti, Africa director for the WHO.
“Science shows that #VaccinesWork and I encourage the government to prepare for a COVID vaccination campaign.”
STEALING AFRICA’S WEALTH
Magufuli has been quoted as saying, without evidence, that vaccines may be part of a foreign plot to spread illness and steal Africa’s wealth.
“We in Tanzania managed to stay for a year without corona. Even here, no one has put on a mask. Our God is beyond Satan and Satan will always fail using different diseases.”
President Magufuli has been downplaying the virus and has told the health ministry not to rush to purchase vaccines.
“There are some of our fellow Tanzanians who recently did travel abroad in search of corona vaccines, they are the ones who brought back corona in our country after returning,” Magufuli said at an event on January 27.
‘BE VERY, VERY CAREFUL WITH ALL THE VACCINES‘
“My fellow Tanzanians, let us stand firm, some of these vaccines are not good for us. I really urged the ministry of health to be very, very careful with all the vaccines which are imported into our country, not all vaccines are of good intentions to our nation, it is important that we Tanzanians be very careful with some of these vaccines imported to our country.”
Magufuli has reportedly also scoffed at imported testing kits, saying they returned positive results on a goat and fruit.
“Data-sharing by #Tanzania is also key, with cases surfacing among travellers and visitors over the months,” said WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in a tweet echoing Moeti’s remarks.
Tanzania has not updated its Covid-19 data since late April, leaving the last number of reported confirmed cases at 509 and the death toll at 21.
Those are also the latest numbers that Johns Hopkins University has published on its website.