Friday 2 February 2007

A Gambian Cure for AIDS or An Epidemic of Stupidity

Touch the screen and be healed
When one first saw the music video of Jesus He Knows Me (Video attached) by Genesis, one was not amused in the least, but now, I see the truth and humour in the whole thing, that is what this business of religion has become.

If, at the same time some televangelist made some statement about healing generally incurable diseases whilst many might flock to those tents for a touch of the miraculous, there are some who would view such claims with utter skepticism, I do not blame them, many a time, we’ve all been conned with snake oil remedies.
Beetroot healing
Then Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, the Health Minister for South Africa came up with the therapeutic amelioration for HIV/AIDS using garlic and beetroot. It just highlighted how seemingly educated and knowledgeable Africans make a laughing stock of themselves, the Health Minister being a medical doctor by training is supposed to know better.
As if we have not been subject to enough ridicule when it comes to Africa’s handling of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, the president of a country that through the unfortunate juxtaposition of geography and biology looks like a phallic symbol in a condom is offering healing remedies for AIDS.
Then he unashamedly declared this delusional fantasy to a group of foreign diplomats. They must have thought the president is aping a stand-up comic, and now his Health Minister corroborates this nonsense by saying the patients are gaining weight and improving physically – they are probably being fed shit – it is unconscionable that leaders can take advantage of their people’s gullibility and ignorance.

Any announcement of this sort would normally have followed the due process of analysis by scientists in a medical, pharmaceutical or epidemiological forum, definitely not a tea-party for diplomats, it does Gambia down.
Secret medicinal lies
President “Quack Doctor” Yahya Jammeh of Gambia also claims he can cure asthma, maybe he really can do all of these things since his technique he is using a secret medicinal herbs which we probably can say do not require the swirl or flick of Harry Potter wand.
I would however only give this man – who in my rush to judgment leaves him no less a charlatan – the benefit of the doubt if an independent panel of scientific minds in HIV/AIDS research and pharmacology peer review these concoctions and certify their efficacy.
Such knowledge and expertise cannot be confined to just one man and his aides when millions are dying around the world, besides, there are ways and means for getting rewarded for offering this lifeline to humanity, if this indeed is the real deal.
Between you and me, this is not the way to get Gambia into the international limelight.

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