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Autism, Africa and The Minnesota Epidemic: Let's Do The Numbers

Dr. Andrew Wakefield suit headshot By Abdulkadir Khalif

Long years ago a cousin of mine purchased a house in a subdivision in Nairobi and was upset to find that his title documents showed a parcel that was completely different from what he was shown on the ground. He asked me to check it up and true to his suspicion the facts on the ground did not agree with the documents. To be sure and because of possible litigation in the pipeline I searched for all relevant maps and monuments in the vicinity and carried out all necessary measurements in order to build up an air-tight case. My cousin went to court. The defendants were his neighbor who had encroached on his land and the developer who sold him something different.

My cousin’s attorney crossed examined me in court and displayed all relevant evidences to show our case. The proof was beyond doubt and the other side was desperate to stop us. They refused to accept the plans and maps we brought to court. They insisted the court uses theirs. We had no reason to refuse it because we were confident of our position. The judge had a fixed smile on his face as our opponents struggled and sweated. They asked for an adjournment and we said OK. Come the afternoon session and they had something interesting to say: That I was not licensed to practice land surveying in Kenya and I am therefore a fraud and a cheat, and that my evidence should be thrown out. The judge knew better since he could see that we had a great case and that it was the other side that deserved those names. They lost and we won. My cousin got back all that he paid for. I have since been licensed to practice land surveying in Kenya.

Sorry to bore you with this but I see a similar situation in the struggle the US and UK medical establishment is waging against our hero Dr. Andrew Wakefield. I will also bring to your attention the story on MPR (Minnesota Public Radio) titled: “Controversial Autism Researcher tells local Somalis disease is solvable”, by Rupa Shenoy and dated December 17, 2010. (HERE)

Dr. Andrew Wakefield had a license in the UK and could have got one easily in the USA if he did not cross paths with the pharmaceutical industry and their medical cronies. He lost his license in the UK not because he failed any scientific test but because he pioneered true science that did not immediately bring in a flood of money. He chose to be on the side of truth and our children instead of being on the side of big business. He is compassionate enough to come to the Somali families in Minnesota and to give them hope that may be; just may be, there could be a possible cure for autism if the obvious cluster in Minnesota is investigated properly and by people with scientific integrity and human hearts, and who are not looking back over their shoulders in fear.

"That's something that needs to be looked at," he said. "It's something that the authorities are very scared to look at and it's why this community has not been investigated in the past." This was Dr. Wakefield as quoted by the reporter Rupa Shenoy who naively stated that “may be because Somalis seek help from schools more often than the general population”.

If as the reporter says Somalis seek help from schools more often than the general population, does it mean that the schools will inevitably brand the kids as autistic even when they are not? Or is autism in the general population underestimated and the numbers shown amongst Somali kids is correct? The medical establishment now tells us that the rate of autism in the general population is 1 in 110, and that amongst the Somalis of Minnesota is 1 in 28. So which of these two ratios is right? If both are right why are we not then labeling this as crises, at least in the Somali case? Does this not point to a classical case of a disease cluster or an epidemic if you will? Why are scientists both in government and academia afraid of investigating this problem? Is it because the population that has been disproportionately affected does not have political and economic muscle? Or is it because they are not “sophisticated” as stated by Steven Miles. Steven Miles is a professor of Medicine and Bioethics at the University of Minnesota. Miles and others in his category have no respect for the autism community whether they are Somali American or indigenous American. They have failed us many times in the past and are not about to give us answers or hope. They display arrogance in the face of professional failure and would rather stick their heads in the sand like ostriches do when trying to hide. I would respect them more if they admitted ignorance and promise to keep looking. I will despise them for telling us lies about autism being incurable or even treatable by any biomedical means. Many parents, including Somalis from Minnesota have proved them wrong.

Many parents have treated their children through simple things like dieting and homeopathy. Our son stopped crying and started sleeping after we took him off dairy products. He started giving us eye contact after only a few days on homeopathic remedies which cleared his bowls. He began going through his programs at school after his body started healing. We are still struggling to detoxify his brain and we are not using any allopathic medicines. We have not given him any medicines for any conditions and I cannot remember the last time we were at the ER or pediatrician. I know kids who are frequent visitors to doctors like Steven Miles and their situation just gets worse. So what are they so proud of?

“Not trustworthy,” is how Steven Miles characterized Dr. Andrew Wakefield. Not trustworthy to who? How trustworthy is a doctor who insists that a vaccine is safe, instructs his nurse to inject the baby and the baby goes into a comma a few hours later? We know that thousands of vaccine injured kids have been awarded compensation by vaccine courts. How trustworthy were the doctors who gave them those vaccines?

In the face of doctors like Steven Miles who display arrogance, ignorance and veiled bigotry, one is tempted to speculate and even be cynical. Today I will go an extra mile to vent my anger at the medical establishment for the damage they have caused our kids and how they would rather continue to injure more kids instead of admitting culpability and responsibility both for themselves and their paymasters in big business. I now believe as do many parents that our children especially in Minnesota have been deliberately targeted. I have heard from non-Somali parents of African descent that their fears of possible vaccine injuries were allayed when they were told that only Somalis react to the MMR vaccine. Several years ago we were told that thimerosal has been removed from some vaccines, but those tainted vaccines were never recalled. Hospitals were allowed to use them liberally without necessarily bringing it to the attention of the parents. Although I have since known that thimerosal was simply reallocated to other vaccines and were never completely removed from vaccines, I suspect that those initial dosages were used on “unsophisticated” families who would not ask questions. In any case not giving families options and actually threatening them with dire consequences confirms my cynical believes and feeds speculation.

I wish to add very quickly here that it is not only the Somali immigrants that are being ravaged by autism in North America. Their Ethiopian neighbors are equally affected and that fact must be recognized if we must unravel this puzzle. I saw studies that have pointed to similar trends amongst Ethiopian immigrants in Israel, Somali immigrants in Canada, the UK and Sweden. The other day I was talking with a Kenyan parent of an autistic child who is also a doctor trained in Turkey and now lives in Minnesota. As Dr. Andrew Wakefield demonstrated during his presentation that Vitamin D deficiencies might have something to do with the incidence of autism amongst the Somalis he pointed to me that in Turkey where women cover their bodies a lot and therefore are chronically deficient in Vitamin D, well baby and maternity clinics insist that both mother and child take adequate Vitamin D during pregnancy and after. We do not get that kind of advice from our doctors here. Now let us do some numbers which I hope will show the seriousness of the autism epidemic amongst the Somalis of Minnesota.

It is estimated that the combined population of Somali and Ethiopian immigrants in Minnesota is about 60,000. Other estimates put that estimate much higher. Working with this assumption of 60,000 let us assume that 1/2 of them are children. That would put the number of kids at 30,000. Assume also that ½ of those are kids below 10-years of age. That puts the number of 10-year and less at 15,000. This is the typical age group being ravaged by autism. With the ratio of 1:28 as admitted by MDH we are looking at about 536 Somali and Ethiopian kids on the autism spectrum in Minnesota. The exact number could be higher and is definitely known to the authorities. They also know what the numbers are in the general population. If those facts do not propel them into action I do not know what will. We are in the process of head-counting those kids and will come with exact numbers in the near future. I am told that the MDH is doing the same and are grappling with the facts and figuring out how to dampen the shocks when it finally comes out. Good luck to them with that. I hope they come up with undistorted facts because if they do we shall challenge them with more damning facts. But more important than just coming up with numbers and then attaching theories why that is so the way they did two years ago, I would rather they put more resources at the disposal of honest scientists and researchers who are eager to come up with the causes and possible treatments of autism. The authorities should also not shy away from reaching out to parents who have succeeded in recovering their children in order to help those with less resources at their disposal to try similar therapies instead of dismissing them as desperate and unsophisticated.


Abdulkadir Khalif is a Contributing editor for Age of Autism and Chairman Board of Directors-Parents United Against Autism - (PAA).



Dr. Cannell, the originator of the Vitamin D Theory of Autism, has recently published a supplemental paper to his original theory.
For those interested:


I've read that the Minnesota DOH study that found a shockingly high autism rate in 3 yr old Somalis also found the rate in 8 yr old Somalis to be about the same as in the general population of 8 yr olds. Is this true? Maybe the 3 yr old Somalis are being monitored more carefully than the rest of Minnesota's children? I honestly don't know that's why I'm asking.


There is a actually a law, now, mandating that adopted children can wait and get their vaccines in the U.S.

John Fryer Chemist

Defending Stephen H Miles

This Professor or Doctor is not up to speed with thimerosal in vaccines quite clearly.

He is an expert on ethics and recognises that when you feed pork to people it is the worlds biggest crime against man but when you give the world's most chemically toxic element to an unborn infant that is just FINE.

I think he needs to review his sense of LOGIC.

And if he actually BETRAYS HIS OATH as well as those he so readily ACCUSES.


"Although I have since known that thimerosal was simply reallocated to other vaccines and were never completely removed from vaccines, I suspect that those initial dosages were used on “unsophisticated” families who would not ask questions. "

No, Mr. Khalif, those thimerosal-preserved vaccines continued to be sold and distributed by the vaccine manufacturers, and greedy American pediatricians continued to purchase and use them FOR AS LONG AS THEIR SHELF LIFE ALLOWED, while telling the parents of their patients that OF COURSE all children's vaccines were now thimerosal-free.

I had to insist that the nurse bring me the package insert, where I showed her where 24.5 micrograms of thimerosal was listed. She had honestly believed the vaccine she was about to give my daughter (IN 2004) was thimerosal-free, even though it came from a multi-dose vial.

This was in a relatively affluent suburb of a city with several well-respected universities and teaching hospitals.

Greed apparently does not discriminate against its victims.


Maybe Prof Miles has been over vaccinated himself! That would explain a lot of the stupidity that our supposly top people exhibit now a days. Yes, that must be it; they have taken their own meds (vaccines) and no longer have the abiltiy to think!


If you read the curriculum vitae of bioethicist Dr. Steven Miles of the University of Minnesota, you'll see that he's collaborated with former U of M bioethicist Dr. Arthur Caplan -- who is now at U-Penn, and a colleague of Dr. Paul Offit from CHOP.

Caplan's name is implied but absent from this 2003 Slate article by another U of M bioethicist:
"Not-So-Public Relations: How the drug industry is branding itself with bioethics."

Nancy Naylor

Ouch! "unsophisticated"? I wouldn't call that veiled racism. I would call that full-on bigotry. Dr. Miles only wishes they were unsophisticated! His biggest problem is that they are smart enough to see though his ignorance and arrogance!


mary - re: "the whole vitamin D thing". Dietary sulfur deficiency may exacerbate BOTH vaccine toxicity and dietary vitamin D deficiency. How you might ask? Professor Stephanie Seneff at MIT has theorized that vitamin D3-sulfate, cholesterol-sulfate, and dietary sulfur, play VERY important roles in maintaining our health. Vitamin D3-sulfate requires cholesterol, sulfur, and sunlight, for its biosynthesis. Glutathione, cysteine, and S-adenosylmethione require dietary sulfur sources. The Low CG Syndrome appears to be a “smoking gun” for a growing number of diseases.

Suppose AIDS, ASD, ADHD, CFS-ME, MS, schizophrenia, Alzheimer’s, Tourette’s, Kawasaki’s, and Parkinson’s disease were ALL acquired immune deficiencies due to some combination of dietary sulfur deficiency, cholesterol deficiency, vitamin D3 deficiency, glutathione deficiency, the vaccine schedules, mercury amalgam dentistry, and DNA hypomethylation?


Carol - re: the "double whammy". Not only do the Somali immigrants demonstrate clustering, but they also demonstrate a DOSE-RESPONSE RELATIONSHIP, between their dose of vaccines and their incidence of autism.

This is the kind of dose-response relationship that Dr Raymond Obamsawin's Immunization Graphs demonstrate.

So, now there is solid evidence of both clustering and a dose-response relationship. Our government is "asleep at the wheel" in denying this. I wonder how much longer they will continue to deny what has now become self-evident. The vaccine schedules are causing a holocaust of iatrogenic diseases.


Perhaps Steven Miles should watch this video of Wakefield before rendering an opinion.

Here's Wakefield speaking before an educated white audience in Boulder (not Africans who Miles apparently despises). All the astroturf Skeptics and "Scientists" were chattering about Wakefield's coming appearance in Boulder. Well, here was their chance to confront him in the question and answer period. Did they? How did that turn out? Watch and see:


I was interested to be reminded yesterday that one of the few cases of autism Dan Olmsted found in his original research among the Amish was an adopted girl from China who had been given her vaccinations in China and then all over again when she came to the US. (I personally know one local pediatrician who recommends this doubling up of vaccinations for adopted children. May God forgive him.)

My understanding is that many Somali immigrant children get this vaccine double whammy.


The whole vitamin D thing is such a big lie. Where is vitamin D producted - the kidneys. What damages the kidneys? thimerosal/mercury. Maybe the CAUSE is thimerosal and vitamin D deficiency is a symptom.

John Stone


Prof Miles's comments are shocking and ignorant, adding as the saying goes insult to injury. He is not a proper person to be commenting on this and he ought to be investigated.


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