On Faith of Dreams: Gambia, is the new Aids cure real?

On CNN today, a story features that the President of Gambia had a dream in which his ancestors gave him the cure for Aids.

This is not funny business, it appears real that people are believing that the herbal conconction works.

Apparently at this stage, there is not any medical documentation to confirm whether this dream induced “cure” may work, just imagine for a moment if it did………

Faith has many faces, I prefer not to discount the yet unproven. With that said, there is a fear that belief in this new “cure” may cause people to have false hope.

What would occur if faith alone, and not just the concoction worked to help cure all of the people inflicted with this dreadful disease? I can understand that there will be much in the media with a negative view, and quite frankly, it is understandable, because if the “cure” doesn’t work, people will become more and more ill.

The CNN article of March 17, 2007 is posted below.  Following the article are several different resources, with Technorati Search listing the most returns on blogs currently discussing this subject from a variety of viewpoints.

CNN presents the following:

By Jeff Koinange
CNN

BANJUL, Gambia (CNN) — At the only hospital in the capital of this tiny West African nation, a 3-year-old AIDS patient named Suleiman receives his daily dose of medication — a murky brown concoction of seven herbs and spices served out of a bottle that once contained pancake syrup.

The boy is told a spoonful a day will make him better. His mother, Fatuma, takes the same concoction, as do several dozen other AIDS and HIV patients here. Adults take two spoonfuls.

“It’s amazing,” Fatuma says. “Two weeks ago, I was very ill, weak and couldn’t eat without vomiting.”

This has become the treatment for HIV/AIDS patients here since early January, when Gambian President Yahya Jammeh announced he had discovered a cure for the disease that has wreaked havoc across Africa. He made that announcement in front of a group of foreign diplomats, telling them the treatment was revealed to him by his ancestors in a dream.

His concoction has stirred controversy and anger among health officials who say the president’s claims will bring false hope to the nation’s more than 20,000 HIV/AIDS patients. They are also afraid that it could cause patients to stop taking the anti-retroviral drugs that have been proven to prolong life and improve quality of living.

One critic was Fadzai Gwaradzimba, the U.N. envoy to Gambia. She was abruptly kicked out of the country after saying on February 9 that patients should continue their normal treatment and that Jammeh’s concoction be “assessed by an international team of experts.”

“The U.N. system encourages all patients currently receiving anti-retroviral treatment to continue to comply with their recommended treatment regimens while the efficacy of the new treatment is being assessed,” she said. (Read full statement)

The U.N. Development Program stands by the envoy’s remarks. The World Health Organization has also been critical of Jammeh’s treatment.


No formal medical training

Jammeh, 41, is a former army colonel who has no formal medical training. He wears white robes and carries a copy of the Quran with him in this mostly Muslim nation.

His degree is a high school diploma. But he claims his family has a history of healing people through traditional African medicine.

At the hospital in the capital, patients claim the president’s concoction is making a difference to them.

Ousman Sow, 54, said he’s been HIV-positive since 1996 and had been taking anti-retrovirals for the past fours years until he volunteered for this program.

Four weeks later, he said he’s gained 30 pounds and feels like a new person.

“I am cured at this moment,” he said.

Asked if he had any HIV symptoms, he responded, “No, I don’t. As I stand before you I can honestly tell you I have ceased to have any HIV symptoms.”

Patient after patient gave similar statements to CNN. But it was difficult to verify the authenticity of their testimony. The government claims to have scientific evidence, but it did not provide any to CNN.

Jammeh refused to speak to CNN for this report.

CNN also sought medical reports of the HIV/AIDS patients to see whether they are indeed on the mend. The material was not provided. The government would also not release the concoction to CNN for testing.

Gambian Health Minister Tamsim Mbowe, a trained physician with multiple medical degrees, defended the so-called herbal cure.

“I can swear, 100 percent, that this herbal medication His Excellency is using is working. It has the potency to treat and cure patients infected with the HIV-virus,” he told CNN.

What does he have to say to skeptics?

“I will tell them, as a Western medical trained doctor with 13 years experience meeting different professors, meeting different colleagues of mine, I’ve seen His Excellency, my leader, coming up with herbal medications that are able to treat and cure patients with HIV-virus, which have been proven within all medical and laboratory parameters.”

Health officials worldwide remain doubtful of these claims. Experts also say it’s in places like Gambia that the poor and desperate will latch onto anything resembling hope.

“For a country’s leader to come up with such an outlandish conclusion is not only irresponsible, but also very dangerous, and he should be reprimanded and stopped from proclaiming such nonsense,” said Professor Jerry Coovadia of the University of Kwa Zulu Natal in South Africa.

See CNN article

Anderson Cooper Blog

UNAIDS, WHO on Gambia’s “cure”: demanding “evidence-based” proof

Scoop Indepent News

EarthTimes.Org

Technorati Search: Gambia & the alleged cure for Aids: listing of blogs with differing viewpoints

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s