Earlier today, the hashtag “Arrest Bill Gates’ was trending on twitter, after accusations of him funding a programme of testing and sterilising indigenous vaccines on tribal children through his NGO Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) in 2009 surfaced on the internet.
Why was ‘Arrest Bill Gates’ Trending?
Recently, after a report by GreatGameIndia was released, it came to light that back in 2009, a Seattle-based NGO called Program for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH), with the help of funding by BMGF, had carried out a project to administer the Human PapillomaVirus (HPV) vaccine to 14,000 tribal girls of 10-14 years of age in Telangana’s Khammam, without the consent of their parents.
The aim of the project was “to generate and disseminate evidence for informed public sector introduction of HPV vaccines”, and it was conducted in four countries, namely: India, Uganda, Peru and Vietnam.
The vaccine used was Gardasil, manufactured by Merck, and it was administered to around 14,000 girls in the district. The girls recruited for PATH’s project were between 10 and 14 years of age and all came from low-income and mostly from tribal backgrounds. Many of those girls did not even live with their familes, and instead lived in government-run hostels (pathshalas), which were situated close to the schools the children attended.
However, a few months after the vaccinations took place, many girls started falling ill and by the next year, five of them had died. These deaths went unaccounted for, and no one called out the PATH’s project or BMGF back then.
This report enraged many Indians, and they called out Bill Gates for his funding in carrying out these unauthorised clinical trials, which proved to be fatal for those it was tested on. They took to twitter express their anger on the matter, and soon #ArrestBillGates was trending.
“Bill Gates destroyed many Indian Tribal girls by forcibly testing and sterilizing indigenous vaccines. Support the demand for arrest..”, wrote one user on Twitter.