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President of an African Nation Claims Herbal Cure for AIDS, Experts Skeptical

Mr.Yahya Jammeh, the president of Gambia, a very small western African nation, says he has discovered a cure for AIDS.//

He has no medical degree and claims the treatment was revealed to him in a dream by his ancestors.

But the country’s own health officials are worried that the president could be bringing false hopes to over 20,000 HIV/AIDS patients of Gambia.

International agencies working on the AIDS front are calling for scientific tests on the herbal medicine of the President. But he won’t relent and his cure is being administered across the country.

The raging controversy has resulted in the expulsion of UN envoy Fadzai Gwaradzimba from Gambia.

She had wanted the usual anti-retroviral treatment to continue for Gambians till the President’s cure was properly authenticated by experts.

The U.N. Development Program and the World Health Organization have backed the envoy's remarks.

Correspondents who have visited the country describe the President’s prescription as “a murky brown concoction of seven herbs and spices.” They also report many patients claimed satisfactory results after consuming the medicine.

President Yahya Jammeh, 41, is a former army colonel and has no formal medical training. He wears white robes and carries a copy of the Quran with him.

Muslims constitute more than 90 per cent of the population of the country. Gambian Health Minister Tamsim Mbowe is a trained physician with multiple medical degrees. But he defends the president’s herbal cure.

"I can swear, 100 percent, that this herbal medication His Excellency is using is working. It has the potency to treat and cure patients infected with the HIV-virus," he has said.

But so far Gambia has refused to allow the medicine to be tested in any laboratory.

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