‘cure’ here - health min­istry

Observer on Saturday - - News - By Ackel Zwane

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.


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