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Nigerian Pastor Accused of Spreading Misinformation on Malaria Vaccines and Bill Gates’ Statements



A Nigerian pastor, Chris Oyakhilome, has come under scrutiny for disseminating false information related to malaria vaccines and purported statements made by Bill Gates, a prominent figure in global health initiatives.

During one of his sermons in August 2023, Pastor Oyakhilome allegedly misrepresented a clip from a TED talk given by Bill Gates in 2010, as reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) on Thursday.

Oyakhilome reportedly accused Gates of being one of the proponents of a supposed agenda to reduce the global population through deceptive means.

Contrary to Oyakhilome’s claims, Gates’ remarks during the TED talk focused on the potential impact of improved healthcare, new vaccines, and reproductive health services in possibly curbing population growth by 10-15%, emphasizing the correlation between health advancements and family size decisions.

The pastor also faced criticism for his assertions regarding the World Mosquito Program facility in Colombia, alleging its involvement in developing genetically modified mosquitoes as part of a depopulation strategy, a claim refuted by the Program which operates as a non-profit entity affiliated with Monash University in Australia.

Additionally, Oyakhilome’s opposition to the HPV vaccine, designed to prevent cervical cancer in women, raised concerns. His unsupported statements during a service in September 2023 questioned the vaccine’s real intentions, despite evidence showing its significant impact in reducing cervical cancer cases.

Nigeria‘s proactive campaign to immunize girls against cervical cancer in October 2023 aimed to address the staggering mortality rates, with approximately 8,000 Nigerian women succumbing to the disease annually.

Research funded by Cancer Research UK in 2021 highlighted the HPV vaccine’s effectiveness in slashing cervical cancer instances by over 90%, countering Oyakhilome’s misleading claims on various vaccination programs.

Notably, the pastor’s inaccuracies extended to misrepresenting mRNA vaccines’ functionality, suggesting a DNA alteration which experts have debunked. These vaccines utilize messenger RNA to train the immune system to recognize virus components, without genetic manipulation.

In response to his congregation’s dissemination of misleading COVID-19 information, the UK media regulator Ofcom imposed a substantial fine on Oyakhilome’s Loveworld network, underscoring the need for accurate public health messaging.

Concerns over Oyakhilome’s influence and the potential repercussions of spreading vaccine misinformation have sparked calls for enhanced oversight and regulation within religious communities.

Rachel Adams

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