Dj vu – Claims of HIV Cures and re-treading old Ground

Published: January 27, 2015

Nigeria Health Watch
Ike Anya
Original Article:  bit.ly/1A4Muzn

A few days ago while in Abuja, I was surprised to hear the news presenter announce that a Federal High Court had “lifted the ban” on Dr Abalaka’s “vaccine” against HIV. The presenter went on to say that, although the vaccine had been approved by influential international bodies more than a decade ago, the then Federal Government had banned it and that last year the court had ruled that the ban was illegal.

On hearing this, I was struck by a number of things – an abiding discomfort at the quality of reporting on science and health matters in the Nigerian media; a sense of guilt that, in failing to tell our stories, younger Nigerians are at risk of repeating missteps of the past; and a fear that many, misled by the news item, may put their lives at risk.

Listening to that programme took me back nearly 15 years to when I was a young doctor in Abuja, struggling to manage patients in a Nigeria where anti-retroviral drugs were so costly that there were virtually unavailable. As we had little to offer patients that we diagnosed with HIV then, it was little surprise that many desperately turned to whatever non-orthodox options were being offered, and there were many willing to step into that breach. Dr Abalaka was one of these, and many turned to him, selling all that they had to partake of his “treatment”.

Full text of article available at link below:  bit.ly/1A4Muzn

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