Monday, March 19, 2007

 

In Gambia, AIDS cure or false hope?

‘At the only hospital in the capital of this tiny West African nation, a 3-year-old AIDS patient named Suleiman receives his daily dose of medication — a murky brown concoction of seven herbs and spices served out of a bottle that once contained pancake syrup.

The boy is told a spoonful a day will make him better. His mother, Fatuma, takes the same concoction, as do several dozen other AIDS and HIV patients here. Adults take two spoonfuls.

“It’s amazing,” Fatuma says. “Two weeks ago, I was very ill, weak and couldn’t eat without vomiting.”

This has become the treatment for HIV/AIDS patients here since early January, when Gambian President Yahya Jammeh announced he had discovered a cure for the disease that has wreaked havoc across Africa. He made that announcement in front of a group of foreign diplomats, telling them the treatment was revealed to him by his ancestors in a dream.’




Leave a Reply