Stephen Karanja: Kenyan anti-vaccine doctor dies from Covid

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Joined: 25 Aug 2013
Age: 63
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01 May 2021, 5:59 am


A Kenyan doctor who became a vociferous opponent of the Covid-19 vaccine has succumbed to the virus, weeks after saying the jab was "totally unnecessary".

Dr Stephen Karanja, chairman of the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association, advocated steam inhalation and hydroxychloroquine tablets.

He clashed with the Catholic church over the safety of the Covid jabs.

The Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops also distanced itself from Dr Karanja's view on the Covid-19 vaccines, saying the vaccines were "licit and ethically acceptable."
n a letter dated 3 March Dr Karanja said that "there are drugs that have been repurposed and used effectively to treat Covid-19," adding that "we also know that vaccination for this disease is totally unnecessary making the motivation suspect."

He went on in different forums to advocate alternative treatments, including steam inhalation and a cocktail of drugs - including hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin, which have not been approved by the WHO to treat Covid-19.

Dr Karanja, who was an obstetrician and gynaecologist, died on Thursday a week after he was admitted to hospital suffering from complications caused by a Covid-19 infection.

Before falling out with the Catholic church in Kenya about the safety and efficacy of the Covid-19 vaccine, Dr Karanja often allied with the religious leaders to oppose mass vaccination campaigns.

In 2019 he led opposition against vaccination of schoolgirls against cervical cancer, saying the jab against Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) was unnecessary because it affected those "whose lifestyle involves irresponsible sexual behaviours".

In 2014, his association opposed the government's rollout of a tetanus vaccine targeting women, claiming it was a sterilisation campaign, despite local health authorities, the WHO, and the UN children's agency Unicef saying the vaccine was safe.

In both instances the government carried on with its plans, but officials reported that they encountered vaccine hesitancy as a result of the objections raised by Dr Karanja.

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