Aids cranks still around

2010-12-17 00:00

THE national Health Department does not seem to have measures in place to control healers who claim to have cure for HIV and Aids.

The Witness visited and interviewed Joachim Cools in KwaNgcolosi administrative area, Hillcrest, recently, who says HIV does not exist and prescribes a mixture called uMlingo wamaNgcolosi to those who have been exposed to the virus.

Said Cools, a Belgian national who arrived in South Africa in 1995,“HIV is just a definition of 70 common diseases that have increased dramatically due to chemical intoxication, malnutrition and stress. These result from all the genetically modified products people eat and the lifestyle they lead.”

His prescription is made up of minerals extracted from organic foods. These include lemon, ginger, garlic and dagga seed oil. Patients take 10 tablespoons of the mixture in a glass of water three times a day. It is sold for R80 per litre.

“This cleans your body of the toxins and replaces the missing elements and rejuvenates the immune system. When taking this mixture there’s no need for ARVs: just focus on a healthy diet,” Cools said.

Cools’s claims have not been scientifically proven.

The area’s inkosi, Bhekisisa Bhengu, who welcomed Cools on to his land in 2003, believes the Belgian has a solution for Aids.

The national co-ordinator of the Traditional Healers’ Organisation, Phephsile Maseko, said there is nothing wrong with people using traditional methods to treat Aids.

“Traditional medicines have never been tested in laboratories, but are based on knowledge. There’s currently no known cure for Aids and ARVs are dangerous as they have side-effects.

“The West is dumping its second-grade ARVs on Africa, a move supported by the government for the purpose of profiting at the expense of the poor,” said Maseko.

She said the motive for this collusion is political and driven by profit, which explains why no regulatory body exists for traditional medicine.

“Cures” similar to that of Cools have been reported to the national and provincial departments of Health, yet no action seems to have been taken against such people.

National health spokesperson Fidel Hadebe could not explain why people claiming to have a cure for HIV and Aids are not criminally charged.

He said, “This is a great concern because these people are mushrooming and ordinary people are gullible [and would] go to anyone who claims to have a cure for the disease. We are facing a serious challenge of dealing with traditional practitioners and their medicines.”

Hadebe said he would take the matter up with the Medicines Control Council and other relevant bodies within the department.

The Treatment Action Campaign and the Democratic Alliance also expressed concern over the lack of action against those claiming to have a cure for Aids.

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