Stephen Karanja, a Kenyan doctor, who became a vocal anti-vaccine campaigner, has died after contracting COVID-19.
Karanja died on Thursday in a high-dependency unit of a private hospital in Nairobi, Kenya.
Following the development of vaccines against the virus, misconceptions have been widely spread, thus pushing doubts about inoculation and reducing willingness to receive a jab.
The doctor had said the COVID-19 pandemic is a hoax in a bid to reduce the world’s population, adding that Bill Gates, founder of Microsoft, is also involved in the conspiracy.
Karanja, in a letter on March 3, 2021, said: “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 insisted that Kenyans did not need to be vaccinated against the virus, adding that the people could be cured through steam inhalation and a mixture of drugs and minerals including the antimalarial hydroxychloroquine, Ivermectin and zinc.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) had rejected his claims, saying:“(The vaccine) being distributed in Kenya, has been reviewed and found safe not only by the WHO rigorous process but also by several stringent regulatory authorities”.
BBC reported that the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops also distanced itself from Karanja’s view on the COVID-19 vaccines, saying the it was “licit and ethically acceptable”.
Karanja was the chairman of Kenya’s Catholic Doctors Association, which described him “as a true medical soldier”.
According to Worldometer, a reference website that provides counters and real-time statistics for diverse topics, Kenya has a total of 159,318 confirmed COVID-19 cases; 2,724 deaths; and 108,565 persons discharged.