Nigeria investigates claim on HIV/AIDS cure

Nigeria investigates claim on HIV/AIDS cure

Friday, February 10, 2017 3:23 pm

Nigerians undergoing HIV screening in Lagos (file photo)

Nigeria’s National Health Research Ethics Committee (NHREC)  said it had requested University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia, to provide details of the clinical trial of the claim for cure of  HIV/AIDS.

The Chairman of the committee, Prof. Clement Adebamowo, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

Prof. Maduike Ezeibe, a Professor of Veterinary Medicine at Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike and others claimed they had conducted clinical trials of a substance on HIV positive individuals.

Ezeibe and others said in some international journals that they administered the “Medicinal Synthetic Aluminum-Magnesium Silicate” to HIV positive individuals with intention to cure the individuals of HIV.

However, Adebamowo said the research did not comply with the provisions of the National Code for Health Research Ethics (NCHRE) and the National Health Act 2014.

He said “the NCHRE is the primary guidance document on ethical regulation of research in Nigeria.”

The chairman said that the committee had requested the university to provide list of members and contact information of the Health Research Ethics Committee that reviewed and approved the research conducted by Ezeibe.

He added that other documents requested from the university include copies of duly approved informed consent forms signed by participants in the clinical trials.

Adebamawo said the committee might also request access to the patients who participated in the clinical trials for verification.

Other requests made by the committee were the originals and copies of approval of the research by the Clinical Trial Regulatory Unit of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control.

He said the committee also requested copies of the curriculum vitae, certificates and professional licences of members of the research team, among others.

He explained that the request for professional licences and certificates of the  research team was to ascertain their qualifications to provide clinical care and administer drugs to Nigerians as prescribed by law.

The chairman urged other institutions and researchers to be diligent and abide by the extant regulations in Nigeria and other international codes for ethical conduct of health research.

He said “institutions and researchers should note that when found in violation of the extant regulations for conducting ethical research in Nigeria, NHREC may institute disciplinary measures as empowered by the National Health Act 2014.”

Meanwhile, Michael Okpara University said the says Professor who claims to have discovered the cure for HIV/AIDS, is making effort to undergo due process domestically.

The Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) of the university, Prof. N-bibisi Iwe, made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday in Lagos.

Iwe, a professor of agriculture, explained that Ezeibe, who is a researcher at the same university, was moving toward the direction of taking the research findings to the appropriate agencies to harmonise the findings.

“Normally, a scientist will end up at the level of having his name inscribed on the sands of time, obtaining all the permissions that are expected.

“And ensuring that he makes the most of benefit of his finding; Ezeibe is moving toward that direction.

“What Ezeibe is telling the world is that there is the possibility of using his knowledge to assist those that are having problems of HIV/AIDS.

“As one of the managers of the university, I know that there is a lot of request coming from all over the places to the university for assistance and people have been receiving this assistance.

“And they have been attesting to it that this very assistance is useful to them,’’ the DVC said.

The don urged prominent Nigerians to key into the discovery for the cure of HIV/AIDS by the researcher and help him get to the next level.

He said: “Recently, the university’s governing council was approached by Ezeibe to assist in raising funds to the next level.

“Any of our prominent Nigerians and all the people that have the funds can assist at this point, because at the end of the day he will not be the only beneficiary.

“There will be several beneficiaries; all the people that are asking for one help or the other will become beneficiaries and our health provisions will be enhanced.

“I think we should encourage one another and those that have done some research, not only for HIV/AIDS, but other diseases.’’

He advised Nigerians to work together towards achieving national growth rather pulling one another down.

Iwe said: “We have lost a lot of opportunities pulling ourselves down. And this finding offers another to make Nigeria great.’’

The National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA) had on Feb. 7 refuted the claim by Ezeibe, saying “the claim for a HIV/AIDS cure is not new’’. (NAN) EEI/LAB/MST Edited by Muhammad Suleiman Tola


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