A video on social media claims that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation does not function in India anymore. We fact-checked and found the claim to be Mostly False.
A Facebook video claims that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has been kicked out of India. The post has received 9.1k views till we last checked.
We have attached the screenshot of the post below:
Has the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation been kicked out of India?
No evidence. This Facebook video has made an erroneous claim that in 2009, thousands of Indian girls were left injured or disabled by the HPV vaccine. Further stating that this resulted in the expulsion of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation from India.
We researched and found that this information is misleading. The Gates Foundation continues its operations in India. Also, there is no published evidence to support the claim that thousands of girls participating in an HPV vaccination project suffered injuries or disabilities.
A committee established by the Indian Government investigated the deaths of seven girls who had received HPV vaccines and concluded that these deaths were most probably unrelated to the vaccine. Nevertheless, the committee identified issues with the reporting of adverse events following immunization.
Vaccines utilized in the project had received approval for use in India, and the US Food and Drug Administration confirmed the safety of these vaccines through extensive studies involving tens of thousands of women.
What can be the impact of such misinformation?
Disseminating misinformation about vaccines can have a direct, detrimental impact on individuals’ physical and psychological health, as well as on specific communities. Such misinformation can also erode trust in healthcare professionals, divert attention from established medical consensus, and undermine public health messaging.
The origin of these claims can be traced back to a project in which around 24,000 girls in India aged 10 to 14, including those from tribal communities, received the HPV vaccine. This project was conducted by the non-profit organization Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health (PATH) in collaboration with the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) and state governments in Andhra Pradesh and Gujarat from 2007. It was suspended in March 2010 following public outcry and news reports of some girls who received the vaccine having died. The project received funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation..
Furthermore, we conducted a thorough search but were unable to locate the original video from which this particular video was derived. The video’s overall quality is poor, and it blurs all words and faces. This tactic is increasingly prevalent in deepfake videos, designed to synchronize audio with video and deceive viewers more effectively with the content.
Did the study result in thousands of girls being injured or disabled?
The committee established by the Indian Government in 2011 determined that the reported deaths among vaccinated girls were most probably unrelated to the vaccine, although the exact causes of these deaths could not be conclusively established. The deaths were attributed to causes such as ingesting poisonous substances, snake bites, malaria, drowning, probable brain hemorrhage, and viral fever, which the report stated were unlikely to be linked to the vaccines.
The report did mention three serious adverse reactions following vaccination but also highlighted significant underreporting of non-serious adverse events, casting doubt on the accuracy of reporting serious adverse events. It further emphasized the inadequacy of monitoring adverse events in the program.
Regarding the claim that the Gates Foundation was kicked out of India, this may be a distortion of news from 2017 when the Indian government announced partial funding for an immunization program in New Delhi, previously supported by the Gates Foundation. However, the Indian government denied expelling the foundation. The Gates Foundation maintains an office in India and collaborates with various stakeholders, including government entities, community groups, non-profits, academic institutions, the private sector, and development organizations in the country. The Gates Foundation has refuted claims that the Indian Government issued any directive to halt or cease its work in India.
This is not the first time we have encountered inconsistent claims that have put Bill Gates in the spotlight. We have previously debunked the assertion that Bill Gates’ lab-grown meat causes cancer. In another story, we refuted the claim that Bill Gates’ GMO mosquitoes cause malaria in the USA. We also addressed and refuted the unfounded claim that Bill Gates has planned a pandemic for 2025.
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