Gambia leader with 'cure' for AIDS to build hospital
By Pap Saine, ReutersBANJUL--AIDS patients would be offered an herbal “cure” at a 1,111-bed hospital in Gambia that the president said on Tuesday he plans to build despite medical concerns the treatment is dangerous.
January 3, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
President Yahya Jammeh said in 2007 he had found a remedy of boiled herbs to cure AIDS, stirring anger among Western medical experts who claimed he was giving false hope to the sick.
“With this project coming to fruition, we intend to treat 10,000 HIV/AIDS patients every six months through natural medicine,” Jammeh said in his New Year's address, adding that he expected the 1,111-bed hospital to open in 2015.
The World Health Organisation and the United Nations have said Jammeh's HIV/AIDS treatment is alarming mainly because patients are required to cease their anti-retroviral drugs, making them more prone to infection.
Jammeh said in October that 68 HIV/AIDS patients undergoing his herbal remedy had been cured and discharged, the seventh batch since the treatments began five years ago.
Other African leaders have drawn criticism for extolling the power of natural remedies to combat AIDS.