Magaya savaged over HIV claims

HARARE - Government yesterday led the criticism of Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) leader Walter Magaya after the charismatic preacher sensationally claimed at the weekend that he had found a cure for HIV/Aids and cancer.

Zimbabwe has an estimated 1,2 million people on HIV/Aids treatment — with tens of thousands more receiving life prolonging cancer treatment.

The Health and Child Care ministry pointedly pooh-poohed Magaya’s claims and any suggestions that it might have approved the preacher’s mysterious herbs, known as Aguma — which the PHD founder has said will go on the market this coming weekend.

“We were actually surprised to see press headlines (about this) because we were not informed. Usually, there is a process that has to be followed when such a discovery
is made.

“The founder has to submit the discovery to us and thereafter we take it to the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) and scientists. An announcement can then be done after the process,” Robert Mudyirabima, the acting permanent secretary in the ministry of Health, told the Daily News.

In a further statement later, the ministry again dismissed  Magaya’s claims.

“Medicines go through rigorous tests, including clinical trials, which involve use of the product under strict medical supervision.

“This is done prior to registration and the results are submitted to the medicines regulator as evidence of the effectiveness of the medicines.

“If the clinical trials are performed within the country, these trials are authorised by the secretary for Health and Child Care. This is to ensure that patients receive safe, effective and reliable medicines.

“Neither the medicines registrar nor the register of clinical trials kept by the ministry has a record of the cited medicine.

“Herbal medicines now require approval from the MCAZ and the product has not yet been submitted for review and assessment,” the ministry said.

On her part, Information minister Monica Mutsvangwa urged Zimbabweans on HIV/Aids treatment to continue taking their medication.

“The ministry strongly urges all ... on treatment for HIV and Aids to continue on their prescribed medication.

“Any form of discontinuation or switch made without the guidance of medical professions may lead to adverse consequences on their health,” she told journalists in Harare yesterday.

According to medical experts, it can take up to 12 years on average to develop a new drug — with the process including pre-clinical and clinical trials, where persons affected by the disease that the drug intends to cure are also involved to evaluate its safety.

On Sunday, Magaya told thousands of his congregants that his herb Aguma cures both HIV and cancer — adding that the government was ready to support him.

“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.

“They will test it for any threats to health, its efficacy and side effects among many other things and have the final say,” he said at his Waterfalls church.

He added that the government was set to announce the first public results on Aguma after 14 days, saying further that the herb had undergone the appropriate registration as a supplement in Zimbabwe and that he had also approached the World Health Organisation.

“We wrote to the World Health Organisation (WHO) and they said they would work hand-in-hand with government rather than individual-to-individual,” Magaya said.

The claims set off a wave of criticism as health professionals and rights groups said his revelations had the potential of destabilising the anti-retroviral treatment (ART) programme, which currently has millions of patients on treatment.

“In as much as some plants have shown medicinal properties, it is imperative that any claims to their effectiveness be made after acceptable independent verification has been done.

“In Zimbabwe, we have competent authorities in the form of the MCAZ and Medical Research Council of Zimbabwe who handle such.

“It is therefore worrisome should a claim be made before the said bodies have registered the medicine or complementary medicine.

“Thus, the RPA (Retail Pharmacists Association) would like to warn the public not to take any medicines that are not registered and are not sold in pharmacies,” the RPA said in a statement.

The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) said Magaya should have made his claims after having been backed by irrefutable scientific evidence obtained through proper and ethical research methodologies.

“Such unverified claims have the potential to increase the number of Anti-Retroviral Therapy defaulters, increase risky behaviour practices and exposure to potentially harmful side effects of the herbs.

“The minister of Health Obadiah Moyo should publicly censure Magaya and also institute an investigation into the safety of the herbs he is claiming to have,” ZADHR said.

The Zimbabwe Medical Association (ZiMA), which brings together all professional medical doctors, urged patients on ART to continue with their medication until there was evidence of Magaya’s cure claims.

“ZiMA urges all patients on ART to continue on their medication until medical evidence is provided to any claim of cure,” the doctors said on micro blogging site Twitter.

The National Aids Council (Nac) said any new medicines should first be subjected to rigorous clinical trials before they could be made available to the public for consumption.

“Nac is not aware of any such clinical trials locally or globally that have been conducted showing efficacy in the management of HIV.

“Those that claim to have discovered a cure must provide sufficient scientific evidence and regulatory approvals before going public with their claims.

“Zimbabwe currently has an estimated 1,2 million people receiving life-saving ART and it is important that we do not unnecessarily endanger their lives by claims of a cure that is unsubstantiated,” Nac warned.

The government is currently on an ambitious $103 million, five-year HIV-testing strategy — to raise the number of people who know their status, as the country bids to build on the progress which has been made in the last seven years, which saw new HIV infections falling by 50 percent.

The testing strategy is part of the government’s efforts to achieve the 90-90-90 target — which seeks to have 90 percent of all people with HIV know their status, 90 percent of diagnosed people being on treatment, and 90 percent of those on treatment having suppressed levels of the virus in their bodies by 2020.

Zimbabwe has an HIV prevalence rate of 13,7 percent according to the 2016 national estimates.

The country has been making strides in its fight against HIV/Aids despite the current economic turmoil which health experts say has hit the operations of most of the country’s major hospitals, including the procurement of essential drugs for people living with the pandemic.

Comments (12)

Vana Magaya...when did you become a prophet? To me, you are just a fly by night prophet because...tinokuzivai from Mhondoro kuti vekwaMagaya vanoroya zvisingaite. From being a family that believed in witchcraft to prophet. Vakomana imi..Mukati mwari is not seeing all your evil deeds. My God will punish you in one of the following days. We are the real christians not imi vanaMagaya. Zimbabweans should stop being used by one Magaya because we know them from Mhondoro that their family is good at witchcraft. Please Zimbabweans, wake up. Any way, this was caused by the Robbers and Muggers because they brought poverty to most of the Zimbabweans and some have no choice but to follow the devil. The likes of Magaya are like those hyenas which pledge to take care of your goats and when you know that when it comes to night time...goats will be eaten....Shame to Zimbos...l shall never be cowed to believe in today's fake prophets in the name of Magaya. Varoyi avo..wake up. Please Zimbos make a reference in Mhondoro and the truth will come out. Never and nada abrigado. Go to hell Magaya please and in the name of Jesus, the son of the Almighty.

Clemence Tashaya - 30 October 2018

It seems the government is only waiting for clinical proof but for me if he is telling the truth, I don't have any problem. To prove if the herbs are real. Invite a HIV/AIDs infected person to the hospital. Take the infected blood and inject it to Magaya then let him take his Aguma herbs and medicate himself. If the AIDs disappear, wait for ten years to see if it doesn't have side effects before medicate it to others. The moron knows that now any fool can drawn congregants into his church using anointed cooking oil so its competitive that's why he stretch his dirty hand to reach out to vulnerable HIV/AIDs infected people to collect their hard earning little cash through guest house, Aguma and tithes. He is leading you people astray

ezekiel - 30 October 2018

Zvinombonetsa here? Woenda hako paIndia apa boys dzeResearch hobho - ndikoka kuri kubva cheaper ARTs tovhenganisa hedu nema STEROIDS, tuMBANJE tsvoti kaCHIFUMURO special effects!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! TAVA NAWO MUSHONGA!!!!!! Hamheno ikoko!

Daniel 5 - 30 October 2018

Wale ingobira vanhu hako necooking oil ne mineral water,ne guest house yako yema1on1 , zve HIV izvi hauna zera nazvo izvo ndezvevakanzvera mabook kwete vakanyudzwa munyanza kuti vaite femberfembera sewe....makuzvinyudza bamunini tubag twese twamaita tunopera uto wen you get your black a** sued .

Kudzanai - 30 October 2018

Ndatenda hangu. . . . kune vanhu vane degrees but havana kudzidza shuwa, mazuva ano kuchikoro koodzidziswa kupasa exam zvotonzi wakadzidza.ko sei vakadzidza vacho ma medical doctors nema learned scientist acho vari kushaiwa mushonga unopedza AIDS ne Cancer yacho the world over ? Ruzivo rwaita rwushomaka kana kuti rwuzivo rwusinga shande muhupenyu ka.You have become so comfortable with a lifetime AIDS treatment,giving hard earned money to somebody everyday until you die. . . . and now you don't even want to hear ,just to hear about a CURE for AIDS and Cancer whereby you STOP taking medication after getting healed and stop trowing away your monies? It leaves a lot to be desired,surely the devine word of God. . . many will hear it but few will understand it at all.You even have the audacity to pass a conclusion so fast b4 you checked the results .Testimonies can never lie guys,never. If I were u I would take my time,go thru all the V11,check some results /trials and then make a well informed comment,kana makadzidza moitawo seaanhu akaende kuskuru handiti,. . . empty vessels make a lot of noise, its bad to examine and pass judgement over a subject you have no full understanding . . . .

JC Phiri - 30 October 2018

Imbavha iyi, he is always ripping off desperate people. Akavakisa desperate people hotel mahara achiti ndokupinzai mabasa. Some desperate people are made to buy some cheap, Chinese wrist bands, at inflated prices, vachinzi muchapfuma. Now he want to milk desperate HIV+ people. Kana vanonamatako vacho, God have mercy on you

George - 31 October 2018

Never judge a book by its cover rather open it and read what is inside,he found the cure and yes its because god speaks to him but now most people you talk of witch ,that only tells you are jealous and gossiping.How can you say vana Mayaga munovaziva nekuroya?lwe wakamboroyiwa iwe,pls instead start to thank god for his mercy upon our country to have such a blessing.Why musingafare paita mumwe cahakanaka bcs you have poverty spirit in you,kuvenga munhu hazvimise mwari kuwedzera makomborero.Prophet W.Magaya thank you for allowing you to be used by god,pls Zim take this serious and work,assist him and see our nation raise up from death spirit .God bless you all.

PHD SON - 31 October 2018

It looks like this prophet did not follow procedures and hasn't even submitted documents to get his drug duly analysed, tested and if successful, approved. Until that process is done, it's all hot air. Medicines do not need prophets to be approved, they need scientific evidence period. To all Magaya flock, would you ride a plane in which Magaya is the pilot based on his testimony that he was instructed by God in a vision to navigate the plane? I doubt it.

Sagitarr - 31 October 2018

Zimbabweans do not support each other that is why tisingabudirire.Dai tiri vamwe tatofarira this medicine yatapihwa naMWARI because ichaita kuti zimbabwe ive inowedzera hupfumi because people from all over the world will come and buy it.As we all know kuti in zimbabwe we are having a financial crisis ARETHA ichatibvisa mukutambura. Zimbabweans ngativei vanhu vanofarira budiriro. ngatipei Prophet Magaya a chance yekusimudzira nyika yedu nekuti mutumwa akabva kuna Mwari and havangambonyeperi nyika yese.ngatisiyanei nekutsikirirana pasi because tikadaro hakuna kwatoenda sevanhu venyika imwe....Everyone deserves a chance in life so please just give the prophet of our generation this chance.

TATENDA DEE from phd ministry - 31 October 2018

Ìf a citizen has claimed that he has a cure to end an epidemic. A real leader looks in to the claim and verifies the claim. Leaders are meant to bring solutions to the people. There is a solution to a world problem but what do we see? We desperately need leaders who take ideas from their followers and implement .

OK - 31 October 2018

i believe prophet magaya is fulfilling his prophecy from a spiritual perspective..but however his claims must be supported by pudent medical views not hypotheses.

Joackim - 4 November 2018

basing on the physical predicament magaya,s claim has already brainwashed the people into believing that there is indeed the cure towards this HIV pandemic ..however the end result speculatively might be high morbidity or mortality rate due to the general populacy's belief on this pseudomised aguma plant which is said to be the cure.advise to all the individuals who are in the ART medication keep taking your medicine until the claim has been proven true?

Joackim - 4 November 2018

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