Gambian President Yahya Jammeh claims he has cured 68 patients infected with HIV and AIDS through a secret concoction of boiled herbs. In 2007, Jammeh announced that he had found a natural remedy to cure AIDS, leading many experts in Western medicine to accuse him of giving false hope to the sick.
The World Health Organisation and the United Nations have said Jammeh’s HIV/AIDS treatment is alarming mainly because patients are required to cease their anti-retroviral drugs making them more prone to infection.
The president said the cured group was the seventh batch of HIV/AIDS patients undergoing his herbal remedy to have been discharged since the treatments began five years ago.
“Who am I to expect that everybody would praise me,” Jammeh said in a state television broadcast Sunday night. “Just as the Prophet Mohammed prevailed and established Islam (…)I also prevailed to cure HIV/AIDS to the point that 68 are being discharged today.”
Jammeh came to power in the small West African country through a bloodless military coup in 1994 and has since been criticized for numerous human rights abuses. In 2008 he said he would “cut off the head” of any gay person discovered in Gambia, where homosexuality is illegal.
According to the United Nations, the HIV rate in Gambia is relatively low compared to other African nations, with only 2 percent of the country infected. Call us skeptical…but we think Jammeh’s “cure” is completely unrelated.