By A Correspondent

President Yahya Jammeh’s recent announcement that he had cure for the world most dreadful disease HIV/Aids has been proven wrong by Laboratory tests conducted by medical scientists at the Royal Victoria Teaching Hospital. Leaks from the RVTH say out of the nine HIV Patients who received treatment from President Jammeh were tested positive, even though the Health Minister went all out to down play the test results issued by the lab. The Minister said sources,  thought that the best way to keep his job and to save the Gambian leader from embarrassment was to issue an interim report suggesting that the “patients were responding to treatment.”

A lab technician at the RVTH told the Freedom Newspaper that the test conducted on the said nine patients revealed  that the patients still had the HIV virus active on their system. According to the lab technician none of the patients treated by President Jammeh turn out to be negative.

Health Ministry sources say the country’s health minister Dr.Mbowe had since received the results of the patients tested for HIV and for some reasons was afraid to report to the nation that the patients were far from recovering. A Medical doctor at the RVTH told our reporter that”Some of the patients had HIV1 and Two. With support and care, some can live for some years. As the situation stands, Jammeh’s drugs never pass our laboratory test. The patients are still living with the virus. The Minister should be honest enough to tell the story as it is. Any attempt to bury the truth might have long term effects on the nation’s efforts to fight HIV. There is no cure for aids yet.”said the doctor.

Gambia’s health minister Mbowe few days ago issued a statement saying that the patients were doing pretty good even though he fails to disclose the test results conducted by health officials on their HIV status.”Two of the patients were extremely weak and could hardly stand. Shortly  after the administration of the first dose of the treatment, within 24 hours, the patients were able to walk and run. On the evening of the second day, those with upper respiratory tract infection had their chest symptoms disappear and felt better.”said Dr.Mbowe.

The medical doctor who disagrees with the Minister warns that the “country is heading towards  a dangerous trend with the President misleading the public that he had cure for aids when there is no cure for it. Our test results speak differently. We hope the patients would come out in the open to contain this government propaganda.”

To many here in the country, the Gambian leader is on his way to full blown madness. His colleagues in cabinet talked about his mental deficiencies and lack of maturity as a leader. Dr.Mbowe himself was quoted as saying that”It’s unsafe to report to the President what the lab test results say. To be on the safe side, let us refrain from releasing the actual results.”

Insiders at the RVTH say the acting Chief Executive Dr.Njie was even alarmed by the Minister’s professional misconduct after they had a brief debate over what to do with the HIV/Aids results which had proven Jammeh’s cure for aids as “untrue and faked.”  Dr.Njie said these sources, initially suggested that the results be released as they received them but Mbowe warns that  they might be both fired if they ever contradicts President Jammeh. “The two spent hours brainstorming on their next line of action. Dr.Njie in the end had to okay Mbowe’s suggestion to down play the lab results”,said my source at the RVTH

One of the patients who received medication from President Jammeh said”We were told that we are still HIV positive by health workers at the RVTH. We are still struggling with the disease. The President’s medication is not helping us at all.”

This reporter visited the Santayalla Society known as “Gambian Living With HIV/Aids and was told by local staff that their group members were still living with the disease. A male HIV patient said”What the President is doing is encouraging risky behaviour in the country. If youths knows that there is cure for aids, which is a lie, they would engage in risky behaviours. We are surprised that our coordinator Rose Clair Charles is joining the government in their  lies. The UN should recall Rose for God shake. We are being stigmatized for nothing. Our members need care, support, job and not the this faked messages. The whole group are angry at this hour. That, I can tell you. It’s wrong for the President to expose our members before the television and local media calling us aids sufferers.”

As we went to press, lab results released by the government owned hospital RVTH indicates that none of the patients tested were found to be HIV negative or free from the virus in short. The results confirmed the presence of the HIV virus into their system. Attempts to reach Dr.Mbowe for comments proved futile.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 31, 2007 (Archive on Tuesday, February 27, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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