HARARE – Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries founder Walter Magaya, pictured, whose recent claims that he would start selling his recently-found herbal cure for Aids has been ordered to retract his comments.
The Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) yesterday threatened to slap the PHD founder with a lawsuit within seven days because his HIV/Aids treatment claim is dangerous and leaves patients prone to infection.
This comes after the popular preacher told multitudes at his Waterfalls church on Sunday that he had found a cure for HIV/Aids and cancer but said patients will not be required to stop taking their anti-retroviral drugs.
In a letter to Magaya, ZADHR chairperson Brighton Chizhande told the cleric that his actions are in contravention of the Medicines and Allied Substance Act (Section15:03) and Part 3, Section 32 of the Public Health Act.
“We write to seek an urgent retraction of your claim to cure HIV and Aids.
“We also demand an immediate halt in the distribution, selling and marketing of any products that mislead the public as to be of curative effect towards HIV and Aids.
“As ZADHR, we give you notice to take remedial action within seven calendar days of this notice by withdrawing all products that purport, claim or infer that they cure HIV and Aids from the market forthwith and making a public statement that withdraws your initial claim to have found a cure for HIV.
“Failure to reasonably make these remedial actions will inevitably lead to ZADHR filing a legal suit against you and your ministry; as such malicious claims pose an existential danger as defined in the Public Health Act,” Chizhande wrote.
He said while ZADHR has no dispute with innovation in discovery of drugs, they argue that due process of proving clinical efficacy and safety prior to any advertisement and distribution is of paramount importance.
On Tuesday, the government also warned Magaya that he risks being arrested if he goes ahead and starts selling his controversial HIV/Aids herbal medicine without regulatory approval.
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has dismissed Magaya’s claim arguing that there is no known cure for HIV infection.
In a statement, WHO representative to Zimbabwe Alex Gasasira said to date, there is no known and proven cure for HIV infection, but effective treatment exists to manage the infection through antiretroviral therapy and drugs.
He added that any new drug should go through clinical trials to be rigorously evaluated and to determine whether they are safe and effective in the prevention or treatment of any ailments.
“Any researchers involved in developing possible new treatments for any ailments, including HIV and Aids are reminded to subject these to the ministry of Health and Child Care (MOHCC) national clinical trial processes and procedures,” he said.
Besides stirring anger among Western medical experts who said Magaya was giving false hope to the sick, the Health ministry pointedly pooh-poohed his claims and any suggestions that he had the support of the government or might have got approval for his organic medicine.
Gasasira said use of antiretroviral treatment, in line with national guidelines, has resulted in better health outcomes for people living with HIV and encouraged people to continue taking their medication.