A Zimbabwean prophet named Walter Magaya has sensationally claimed that he has found a cure for HIV/AIDS together with his Indian researchers. They say that they discovered a herb, Aguma, which they claim can treat HIV/AIDS and also cancer-related illnesses.
Magaya said that it took him two years to come up with this breakthrough, adding that they did proper research with the Indian researchers. He told thousands of congregants that the organic cure was made from herbs found in Mozambique and Zimbabwe. He said the Aguma herb contains phytochemicals with powerful antioxidant properties that can boost the immune system and also cure cancer.
"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," Magaya said, sending his congregants wild with excitement.
"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."
"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.
"They will test it for any threats to health, its efficacy, side effects among many other things and have the final say. But we are happy with the research findings made in India," he said.
Walter Magaya is the leader of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries, and he commands a huge following. He has a lot of influence on his congregants, and the statements he has uttered need to be treated with caution. No clinical trials have been done by Walter Magaya and his Indian researchers. He however said that the cure had been tested on HIV positive people and that "these people have gone negative."
He said if a person takes the medication, made from an Aguma plant, within 14 days, his CD4 count will have gone up by 200%, suppressing the virus before it eventually disappears.
Religious leaders often have a tendency of making unsubstantiated claims over the issue of HIV and other illnesses, leading their followers to abandon proper treatment and in some cases, leading to unnecessary deaths.
"I do not have the right to tell people to stop taking ARVs. Those on ARVs should continue taking them," Magaya emphatically exclaimed.
Zimbabwe has over 1,4 million people living with HIV and Aids, and 1,2 million are on life-prolonging anti-retroviral drugs, with scientists still looking at modalities for HIV cure and no breakthrough has been made.
The Ministry of Health in Zimbabwe could either verify this, or simply not entertain these claims given the awful track record of "prophets" who make false claims. The Ministry of Health has done a lot in terms of fighting HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe, and has had some significant success. There is risk of undoing this success in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
National Aids Council (the official statutory health body assigned with fighting HIV/AIDS and cancer in Zimbabwe) chief executive officer Tapuwa Magure said Magaya should first subject his herb to clinical trial before going public, which includes using the drug on animals before taking it on human beings.
"I have just heard the prophet’s assertions. Every clinical trial or experiment on human beings has to undergo rigorous tests before it is approved by the medical research council of a country, including Zimbabwe. The studies must be ethical, not exploiting the subjects and not subjecting them to poisons," Magure said.
"I am not aware of any such clinical trial having being approved in Zimbabwe and also of any such study having gone on here. The prophet must really provide all this data to prove that a scientific trial has really taken place and show the results," he said, adding that "so far, there is no cure for HIV."
Header Image Credit: NewsDay Zimbabwe