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Herbal treatment kills four HIV patients in Gombe

Herbal treatment kills four HIV patients in Gombe

The Network of People Living with HIV and AIDS in Nigeria (NEPWHAN) on Thursday, announced that four of its members died for allegedly using herbal HIV treatment.

The Programme Officer of the association, Muhammad Ibrahim stated this in Gombe State at an event to commemorate the 2023 World AIDS Day.

Ibrahim said the spate of the use of herbal therapy for HIV treatment in the state had been a source of concern.

He stressed the need for government and stakeholders to check the circulation of alternative HIV treatment.

Ibrahim said a lot of HIV-positive patients who are desperately searching for a cure are opting for herbal remedies. He added that many have died as a result of wrong medication.

“A lot of our members are subscribing and using herbal medicine. It is based on the information being spread by the hawkers of traditional medicine. These hawkers are everywhere in Gombe.

“These people are openly advertising and claiming that they have discovered the treatment of HIV. As a result, a lot of our people are buying the medicine.

“There is no scientific proof that the herbal treatments are real. So we want the government to look into this and do the needful.

“Anybody that claims to have found treatment for HIV should be identified and invited by the government to verify his claims. And then certify it before public sales and use,” Ibrahim said.

Health Commissioner

Also commenting, Dr Habu Dahiru, Commissioner for Health, said there was no scientific proof that herbs could cure the disease.

Dahiru advised NEPWHAN members and all those living with HIV to desist from using herbal medicines to treat the disease. He added that such concoctions damage vital organs.

“We do not have any scientific evidence that herbal medicines are working. But anti-retroviral drugs are working and when we do the viral load test, you see it reducing. It is scientific.

“Herbal medicines have side effects, especially damage to the liver and kidney.

“We have always discouraged the use of a remedy that has not been certified. To use a drug or herb in treating a certain illness it has to undergo various stages of test and certification before approval.

“We have not heard of any herb that has been certified for HIV treatment,” he said.

Also, on the fight against the scourge, Dahiru said the state had achieved a lot in reducing the disease burden.

Furthermore, he said the state achieved 95 percent of suspected cases tested and placed on medication.He added that 95 percent of those placed on medication have achieved viral suppression.

“This is a good feat for the state,” he said. He added that the state would maintain the feat, boost testing and encourage the use of ART among positive persons.



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Faruk Khalil
Faruk Khalilhttps://nigeriansketch.com/
Khalil Faruk (Deputy Editor-in-Chief), has a Bachelors and Master's degree in Political Science and has worked as a reporter, features editor and Deputy Editor-in-Chief respectively in a leading Nigerian daily. He has undergone trainings in journalism, photo journalism and online journalism within and outside Nigeria.

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