Magaya faces lawsuit over HIV ‘cure’

THE Zimbabwe Association of Doctors for Human Rights (ZADHR) has ordered Prophetic Healing and Deliverance Ministries founder Wlater Magaya to retract his claim that he had found a cure for HIV and Aids within the next seven days or face legal action.

BY STAFF REPORTER

In a letter written to Magaya yesterday and seen by NewsDay, ZADHR chairperson Brighton Chizhande also demanded that the cleric immediately stops distributing, marketing and selling the product.

The association noted that Magaya’s actions were in violation of the Medicines and Allied Substances Act (Section 15:03) and demanded that he makes a public withdrawal of the claim.

“While we have no dispute with innovation and discovery of drugs, we argue that due process of proving clinical efficacy and safety prior to any advertisement and distribution is of paramount importance. 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,” Chizhande said.

He said Magaya’s pronouncement was “malicious” and “poses an existential danger as defined in the Public Health Act”.

Magaya’s spokesperson, Admire Mango, said he could not comment as he was attending a funeral.

Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged Zimbabweans on anti-retroviral treatment (ART) to continue taking their medication despite Magaya’s claims.

WHO representative to Zimbabwe, Alex Gasasira, said in a statement yesterday that people on ART “can enjoy healthy, long and productive lives”.

He said such people must continue with prescribed medication, as there was still no cure for HIV and Aids.

“There is no cure for HIV infection. However, effective anti-retroviral (ARV) drugs can control the virus and help prevent transmission so that people with HIV, and those at substantial risk, can enjoy healthy, long and productive lives,” Gasasira said.

“Zimbabwe has very well-established procedures for clinical trials. Clinical trials are the process by which any new medical approaches, including drugs, are rigorously evaluated to determine whether they are safe and effective in the prevention and/or treatment of any ailments.”

The WHO representative said it was important for every new treatment for any ailment to be subjected to the Health and Child Care ministry’s national clinical trial processes and procedures, and warned those on ARV medication to exercise extreme caution should they want to try new medicines.

He said Zimbabwe had experienced a reduction of Aids-related deaths by 63% in the period 2010 to 2017.