‘cure’ here - health ministry
Director of Health Dr. Vusi Magagula has vehemently opposed any prospects of a Zimbabwean brewed HIV herbal cure to be circulated in Eswatini.
This follows widespread media reports that one ‘prophet’ Walter Magaya of Zimbabwe had discovered the main ingredient, Aguma herb only found in Zimbabwe and Mozambique with the potency to boost the immune system. Dr. Magagula insists that ‘there is no announced cure for HIV.”
He added “he is definitely not allowed (to distribute) to sell it here. There is no announced cure for HIV yet. If he claims his product cures HIV or it is just a money spinning scheme we do not know, we follow developments in HIV researches closely.”
On a similar note back in his own country health authorities are doubtful about the controversial prophet’s herbal cure especially because he has not yet submitted Aguma for review and assessment even as a herbal supplement.
Zimbabwe Information, Publicity and Broadcasting Services Minister Monica Mutsvangwa has already warned people “don’t buy medicines from unapproved and unlicenced persons.”
The Zimbabwean minister told a media briefing on Tuesday that her government was concerned with the claims of an Aids cure as there were processes and procedures in Zimbabwe that medicines go through before they are recognised as effective and safe for use by patients, adding that herbal medicines now require approval by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe.
“The ministry strongly urges all clients on treatment for HIV and Aids to continue on their prescribed medication.
Any form of discontinuation or switch made without the guidance of medical professionals may lead to adverse consequences on their health status,” she was quoted as having said, adding that available medicines have been proven to be safe and effective in lowering HIV virus as well as prolonging lives of people living with HIV.
“The ministry therefore further advises members of the public to acquire their medicines from approved sources and licenced persons.”
Peddlers of such concoctions are required to provide sufficient scientific evidence and regulatory approvals before going public with their claims. They have not done so in Eswatini and Zimbabwe.
An expert Professor Heln Lee was quoted saying when you are infected by HIV the body produces some antibodies and these antibodies will stay for life in your system.
But if you take ARVs, they will only control the growth of the virus so your virus can be negative but your antibody will always be positive for life so anyone who tells you, that they can give you some drug and that you will become antibody negative in two weeks is not telling the truth. It is not scientific and it can do patients harm.
Addressing a church service at his headquarters in Waterfalls Magaya told unsuspecting worshippers and followers on Sunday that for two years he had enlisted Indian charges to come up with the concoction. As a marketing drive, first at home, he is cited saying “I have been praying for it, and I have been concentrating on it, but I want to assure you, the world may deny it, but they will eventually agree, because you cannot fight with facts and win. Facts are facts.”
He added “I have seen the hand of the Lord healing his people. I have seen testimonies and I have prayed for people. But while praying, I asked God to lead me to something that can help many.
He showed me a tree, he showed me my counterparts in India. We have tested it and found out that it works. I can stand in front of you as a man of God and say I have found a cure for Aids.”
He claims if a person takes the medication within 14 days, his CD4 count will have gone up by 200 per cent, suppressing the virus before it eventually disappears.
According to UNAIDS safer and more effective antiretroviral medicines and combinations are increasingly available and affordable for lowand middle-income countries.
Current World Health Organisation recommended standard first-line antiretroviral therapy for adults and adolescents consists of two nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) plus a nonnucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor or an integrase inhibitor.
Fixed-dose combinations and oncedaily regimens are preferred. Secondline antiretroviral therapy in adults consist of two NRTIs plus a ritonavirboosted protease inhibitor.
The effectiveness of HIV treatment is best monitored by measuring the amount of HIV in a person’s blood. If the virus cannot be detected they are said to have viral-load suppression—indicating that their HIV infection is unlikely to progress and they are at very low risk of transmitting the virus to their partner.
Viral-load testing is recommended six months after starting antiretroviral therapy and annually thereafter to ensure that treatment is being taken and that drug-resistance has not developed.
HIV treatment works best when taken as prescribed. Missing doses and stopping and re-starting treatment can lead to drug resistance, which can allow HIV to multiply and progress to disease. People living with HIV on treatment need to be provided with the support that they need to overcome the challenges to taking treatment regularly and robust systems to monitor drug resistance.
The controversial prophet-cum-Aids ‘healer’ showcasing his concoction before congregants.