Scroll To Top

Gambian president
criticized for AIDS claim

Gambian president
criticized for AIDS claim

Leading South Afrian HIV/AIDS specialist professor Jerry Coovadia has criticized Gambian president Yahya Jammeh's claim that he can cure AIDS in three days, reported the BBC.

Last month, Jammeh said he had begun treating 10 patients with secret medicinal herb ingredients. Gambian health minister Tamsir Mbowe backed his claims.

"I'm astonished. The danger of a president standing up [to say this] is shocking," Coovadia, who heads the HIV research team at the University of KwaZulu Natal and is a member of South Africa's Treatment Action Campaign, told the BBC. "A response within three to 10 days and a three-day course is almost inconceivable for a disease like HIV/AIDS."

Jammeh, who says he can also cure asthma, made his announcement to a gathering of foreign diplomats. "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," Jammeh 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."

Mbowe told the BBC, "We cannot actually tell you the type of herbs we are using presently. It will be known to the whole world later on." He said the herbal medicines are taken orally and applied to the body.

Gambian university lecturer Ousman Sowe, who is currently undergoing the treatment, has the utmost confidence in Jammeh: "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.

Coovadia criticized Gambia for 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.

Last year, South Africa's health minister was chastised for promoting a diet of garlic and beet root to those with HIV instead of administering antiretroviral drugs. (The Advocate)

Advocate Channel - The Pride StoreOut / Advocate Magazine - Fellow Travelers & Jamie Lee Curtis

From our Sponsors

Most Popular

Latest Stories

Outtraveler Staff