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Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation ‘reportedly’ funded the 2009 HPV studies in India, but it was not kicked out

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A post is being shared on social media with a claim that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) has been kicked out of India for conducting unethical medical vaccination trails. Let’s try to analyze the claim made in the post.

The archived version of the post can be found here.

Claim: ‘Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) kicked out of India for conducting unethical medical vaccination trails’.

Fact: There is no news on BMGF being kicked out of India. Currently, the BMGF is actively working in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Similar news that the Indian government had broken ties with the BMGF went viral in 2017, but the Health Ministry, on the same day, issued a press note that termed the viral news as ‘inaccurate and misleading’. The information in the post about the 2009 case is true but in that case, it was ‘PATH’ (Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health) organization, which was involved. The BMGF is one of the donors of ‘PATH’ and was reportedly funding the programme. Hence the claim made in the post is MISLEADING.

When searched on Google about BMGF leaving India, no relevant news was found. On the BMGF website, it can be found that the BMGF is ‘working closely with India’s central and state governments’. Also, it can be seen that the BMGF is currently focusing in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh.

In the FAQ section on the BMGF website, it can be found that the BMGF operates in India under RBI’s FEMA (Foreign Exchange Management Act) and funds the Indian NGOs which are under the regulation of Home Ministry’s FCRA (Foreign Contribution Regulation Act). 

So, the news that the BMGF was kicked out of India is false. Similar news went viral in 2017 that the Modi government had broken ties with the BMGF. But, on the same day, the Health Ministry issued a press note saying that ‘some media reports have suggested that all health related collaboration with the Gates Foundation with National Health Mission (NHM) has been stopped. This is inaccurate and misleading. BMGF continues to collaborate and support the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.

Regarding the 2009 vaccination incident, the information given in the post is true but it was not the BMGF which vaccinated the children. It was ‘PATH’ (Programme for Appropriate Technology in Health) organization which was involved and the project was ‘reportedly’ funded by the BMGF. On the ‘PATH’ website, it can be found that the BMGF is one of the donors of ‘PATH’.

A Parliament Standing Committee report titled ‘Alleged Irregularities in the Conduct of Studies using Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) Vaccine by Path in India’ was tabled in both the Houses of Parliament in 2013. The committee has found irregularities as claimed in the post and recommended action by the Government against PATH. The report did not recommend any direct action on the BMGF. The report can be read here and the counter argument by the ‘PATH’ officials can be read here.

To sum it up, Bill Melinda Gates Foundation ‘reportedly’ funded the 2009 HPV studies in India, but it was not kicked out.

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