Gambian President Says Able To Cure Aids
On 18 January 2006, the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh told a gathering of foreign diplomats that he was able to cure Aids and Asthma and that he would start treating 10 people living with HIV.
According to this article on Africa News, Jammeh seems quite confident that he can indeed help those affected by immune deficiency and he is quoted as having said:
"I am not speculating on my medicine. There are living witnesses to what my medicine can do. Now, I have the mandate to cure people publicly. I can treat asthma and HIV/AIDS. Within three days the person should be tested again and I can tell you that he/she will be (HIV) negative."
The predictable reaction comes from a South African Aids Treatment Advocacy group that heavily pushes access to anti-retroviral drugs. According to this recent BBC article, Jerry Coovadia, who heads an HIV research team at the University of KwaZulu Natal and is a member of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign said:
"I'm astonished. The danger of a president standing up [to say this] is shocking. A response within three to 10 days and a three-day course is almost inconceivable for a disease like HIV/Aids."
The Gambian Health Minister says that the cure is based on herbal medicines that are taken both internally and applied to the body.
One of the patients, a Gambian university lecturer has noticed an improvement of his condition, but results of a new HIV test are not yet available.
There are many obscure points, both in the diagnosis and the treatment of Aids. Tests have never been validated against the real thing - a virus cultivated from patients and the anti-retroviral drugs that the Treatment Action Campaign advocates as the solution not only are extremely costly, they have heavy toxic side effects which are virtually indistinguishable from illness they are supposed to cure.
In any case, it will be interesting to see how this first Gambian test on ten patients develops. Certainly the pharmaceutical recommendations of Aids officialdom don't seem to be working too well. According to Coovadia, who has only criticism for the Gambian initiative, science is "many years away from finding a cure".
Here is the BBC article:
- - -
President's 'HIV cure' condemned
(see BBC original here)
A claim by Gambian President Yahya Jammeh that he can cure Aids in three days has been lambasted by a leading South African HIV/Aids specialist.
"I'm astonished. The danger of a president standing up [to say this] is shocking," Jerry Coovadia told the BBC.
Mr Jammeh said last month he had begun treating 10 patients on Thursdays with secret medicinal herb ingredients.
His health minister backs his claims, saying in trials so far patients had gained weight and physically improved.
"A response within three to 10 days and a three-day course is almost inconceivable for a disease like HIV/Aids," said Prof Coovadia, who heads the HIV research team at the University of KwaZulu Natal and is a member of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign.
He said that science was many years away from finding a cure "so the fact that someone announces a cure like this is exceedingly difficult to accept".
President Jammeh, who says he can also cure asthma, made his announcement to a gathering of foreign diplomats last month.
"I can treat asthma and HIV/Aids... Within three days the person should be tested again and I can tell you that he/she will be negative," he said in a statement.
"I am not a witch doctor and in fact you cannot have a witch doctor. You are either a witch or a doctor."
Gambian Health Minister Tamsir Mbow says the herbal medicines are taken orally and applied to the body.
"We cannot actually tell you the type of herbs we are using presently, it will be known to the whole world later on," Dr Mbow told the BBC.
One of the patients currently undergoing the treatment is Gambian university lecturer Ousman Sowe.
"I've noticed I've increased weight substantially over the last 10 days. I am no longer suffering from constipation, but we have yet to receive result of the tests," he told the BBC.
"I have 100% confidence in the president and I'm taking the medication with all confidence.
But Mr Coovadia said it was tragic that The Gambia had a "political environment that allows a minister of health and a president to violate every foundation of science and public health."
"The entire exercise is circumscribed by secrecy - that's not how science works," he said.
It would be impossible to measure the negative impact of Mr Jammeh's claims, but it could lead to risky sexual behaviour, instead of following preventative advice, he said.
The World Health Organisation told the BBC it did not wish to comment on the issue at this stage.
Last year, South Africa's health minister came in for severe criticism for promoting a diet of garlic and beetroot to those with HIV, while not rolling out the anti-retroviral drugs which are the only recognised treatment.
South Africa has now reversed its controversial advice.
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A more recent article published in the Gambia Daily Observer:
In herbal treatment 135 asthma patients recovered
Tuesday, 06 February 2007
Authoritative reports reaching the Daily Observer revealed that 135 asthma patients treated by President Yahya Jammeh have successfully recovered.
This development was contained in a press release issued by the Department of State for Health and Social Welfare (DoSH&SW) yesterday, updating the public on the progress of President Jammeh's herbal treatment of HIV and asmathic patients.
DoSH&SW also used the opportunity to reaffirm the clinical conditions of the nine HIV/Aids patients, saying "the conditions of the patients have improved significantly. The results so far are very successful".
According to DoSH&SW, five of the patients have undetectable viral load; one with moderate viral load; and three others with high viral load.
The Department, under the leadership of Dr Tamsir Mbowe, Secretary of State for Health and Social Welfare, then renewed its "professional and moral support" towards President Jammeh's efforts to uplift the health status of Gambians, who have been afflicted with such diseases. The Department then congratulated the Gambian leader on the "remarkable success" achieved so far in his herbal treatment of patients with HIV infection and asthma.
- - -
Iran unveils herbal remedy against AIDS
The drug, made after five years of research, has been tested on 200 patients, IRNA said, adding that it is considered the fifth generation of medications helping control the HIV/AIDS virus. "This is a substance good for both AIDS patients and those who carry the virus without showing the symptoms," the director of the project, Mohammad Farhadi, told state television.
Gambia: The Breakthrough(link no longer active)
When President Yahya Jammeh made his historic revelation twelve months ago on the hitherto incurable disease, it was like raining hell on earth. The sheer response of sceptics was appallingly terrifying. But it was also revealing. What was stunning was not the spree of criticism, but rather it was the myopic nature and racist tone it took in certain quarters. The impression you got was that some people do not expect that there should ever be any cure for the disease. Presumably not until poor Africa is rid of half of its population. And for others, it was just too much to contemplate the possibility of an African discovering the cure.
posted by Sepp Hasslberger on Friday February 2 2007
updated on Tuesday October 19 2010
URL of this article:
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