The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights has rubbished Sunday’s claims by Prophet Walter Magaya that he found the cure for the menacing HIV/AIDS.
By Kudakwashe Pembere
Several health related civil groups alongside the general public have met these claims with mixed reactions.
“Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights takes with great exception to the recent claims by Prophet W Magaya that he has found a cure for HIV and AIDS.
“ZADHR acknowledges the prophet’s right to freedom of worship and his entitlements to his beliefs. However it is the conviction of ZADHR that any claims to cure HIV must only be made in the presence of irrefutable scientific evidence that is obtained through proper and ethical research methodologies,” said ZADHR in a statement.
ZADHR added that such claims lead to high rates of treatment defaulting.
“Such unverified claims have the potential to increase the number of Anti Retroviral Therapy defaulters, increased risky behavior practices and exposure to potentially harmful side effects of the herbs,” said the organisation.
ZADHR wants among other things Prophet Magaya to publicly retract his statement.
“Prophet Magaya to publicly reverse his claims that he had a cure for HIV and AIDS as there is no empirical research that proves his claims,” the organisation said. “The Minister of Health Dr Obidiah Moyo to publicly censure Prophet Magaya and also institute an investigation into the safety of the herbs he is claiming to have.”
The National Aids Council of Zimbabwe alongside other HIV related civil society groups have been taken to task to educate the public on the , “potential disastrous effects of these unverified claims.”
With the provision of accurate health information being a key pillar of the constitutionally enshrined right to health ZADHR is saddened by this incident.
Meanwhile, the Zimbabwe National Network of People Living with HIV (ZNNP+) urged people not to discontinue taking antiretroviral treatment while they ascertain the veracity of Prophet Walter Magaya’s claims of having found HIV treatment.
The Prophetic Healing and Deliverance leader yesterday sent tongues wagging announcing this much awaited relieving news.
ZNNP+ in a statement cautioned patience among people living with the disease inasmuch as the claims bring relief.
“While we welcome all efforts to identify a cure to HIV we appeal for patience as we ascertain the validity of these claims. Naturally, the news of a ‘cure’ will bring relief to the over 1.4 million PLHIV in Zimbabwe particularly PLHIV who have been on treatment for a prolonged period of time,” the organisation for people living with HIV said.
The organisation has since engaged Government, PHD and other researchers to corroborate the claims.
“We urge all PLHIV to exercise patience as we engage PHD Ministries, Ministry of Health and Child Care and other independent researchers to verify and authenticate the claims made,” said ZNNP+.
ZNNP+ exhorts HIV/AIDS patients to keep on taking their medication.
“We urge PLHIV to continue to take their antiretroviral treatment as prescribed to prevent an upsurge in their viral load and potentially treatment resistance,” the organisation said
Making the announcement during the church’s fifth anniversary in Harare Prophet Magaya said through their health subsidiary, Aretha Medical, and with the aid of an Indian company, they discovered the Aguma herb that contains phytochemicals with powerful antioxidant properties that can boost the immune system and also cure cancer.
Prophet Magaya said they had registered Aguma as a supplement and have also spoken to the Government, which he says will have the final say when it makes its own tests on the herbal medicine.
“When I approached the Government, their response made me feel that they were ready to support us. Government will carry out its own research and is summoning a local research board to bring in people who are HIV-positive and take statistics on people taking Aguma,” he said.