Quinacrine in India
Thousands of illiterate women in India and Bangladesh have been used as “guinea-pigs” without their knowledge in unauthorized trials of quinacrine, a derivative of quinine used to perform chemical sterilizations by scaring and burning a woman’s fallopian tubes.
Quinacrine, a known mutagen capable of causing cancerous changes in body cells, often causes irreparable damage to a woman’s reproductive system. (See “Burn, baby, burn: Quinacrine sterilization campaign proceeds despite risks,” PRI Review, Vol. 6, No. 5, Sept./Oct. 1996 and “Quinacrine in India,” PRI Review, Vol. 7, No. 3, May/June 1997. See also “Quinacrine’s latest pushers” on page 3.) The World Health Organization opposes quinacrine trials without proper toxicological studies of the drug and has advised it not be used without such studies.
Accusing their governments of turning a blind eye to the situation, health activists and women’s groups in the two Asian countries called for a halt to the quinacrine sterilization trials, which they allege are being pushed by population control groups based in the United States.
Although the “Q method” is illegal in India and has “no medical sanction” in Bangladesh, more than 10,000 women have been sterilized with quinacrine by a single medical practitioner in India’s West Bengal state alone, with similar trials going on in Mumbai, Bangalore and Baroda; in Bangladesh’s southeastern Chittagong district more than 5,000 women have been sterilized with quinacrine. In a documentary film on the “Q Method,” a doctor at Delhi’s Lady Hardinge Medical College admitted using quinacrine on women in Delhi.
A group of doctors under the aegis of the Contraceptive and Health innovations Project (CHIP) in Karnataka, South India, completed a quinacrine sterilization trial on 600 women in July 1996, and are currently involved in a 2-year project “to sterilize 25,000 women.”
Health activists claimed that the US Agency for International Development has “funded quinacrine supplies to India,” along with a ‘“zealous population control at any cost” international lobby. Since the quinacrine method requires no surgery or anesthetic, and no real follow-up, and costs only one dollar per case, it has become a favorite weapon for such groups.
First pioneered by Dr. Jamie Zipper of Chile, quinacrine’s two main promoters are U.S. doctors, Elton Kessel and Stephen Mumford. Mumford, a fanatical population controller and notorious anti-Catholic bigot, has been pushing quinacrine sterilizations for some time in China and other parts of the developing world. Both Kessel and Mumford advocate mass usage of quinacrine even before necessary toxicological studies are completed. (“Harmful contraceptive trials in South Asia,” IPS, 22 May; “Sterilization by quinacrine comes under fire in India,” Lancet, 17 May, 1960.)
Estonia Continues Decline
With the number of deaths in the nation continuing to exceed the number of births, the population of Estonia registered another decline in 1996. In 1996, there were 5,963 more deaths than births, which, coupled with the 6,263 emigrees, resulted in a reduction of more than 12,000 in the population of the tiny nation.
Altogether, since the population peak of 1,571,600 in 1990, Estonia’s population has declined by 7 percent in the 1990s to its current level of 1,464,000. [Itar-Tass, 21 January.)
400 Million Condoms for Uganda
Uganda, a nation with a population of just 20 million has ordered 400 million condoms to be delivered in the next four to six years to curb sexually transmitted disease and promote family planning.
Only 10 million condoms were sold in the country last year, which in turn was a 66 percent increase over the 5.9 million in 1995.
The Ugandan Health Ministry will become the center to supply condoms to all users throughout the country. The condoms will be examined in modem laboratories to “ensure that they are safe.”
Concerns have been raised that the mounting use of condoms in the country might lead to a polluted environment from the burning of the used ones.
Presumably, many of the condoms will be used in conjunction with the nation’s fourth population program, which was announced a few weeks earlier. The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has pledged to donate 24 million US dollars to support the population control program. (“Uganda orders 400M condoms,” Xinhua, 6 March; “UNFPA to donate 24 million dollars to Uganda.” Xinhua, 28 February.)