By Naomi Sharang
The Senate Committee on Primary Healthcare, Communicable and Non Communicable Diseases, on Tuesday urged the National Primary Health Care Development Agency to authenticate the claim of Prof. Maduike Ezeibe, of having a cure for HIV.
Chairman of the Committee, Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa made the call during the agency’s budget defence in Abuja.
Ezeibe, a researcher in Veterinary Medicine at the Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, was reported to have discovered cure for HIV/AIDS.
According to Ohuabunwa, it is not proper to dismiss Ezeibe’s claim without full verification.
He therefore urged the agency and other relevant bodies to subject the claim to scientific analyses in order to arrive at a definite decision.
The senator expressed reservations at the manner in which the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA) and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control dismissed the Ezeibe’s claim.
“It is not a matter of his identity, he is a serving professor in a known institution, invite him if he had followed the scientific procedure.
“It will be a thing of pride that today a professor, a citizen of Nigeria is developing a cure, nothing is impossible even as he is a veterinary doctor.
“Coming out with a disclaimer immediately is not the right thing,” he asserted.
However, Dr Faisal Shuaib, Executive Secretary of the agency said they were satisfied with the stand taken by NACA and the Centre for Disease Control.
“We are aware of the claim by the professor that he had found a cure for HIV/AIDS.
“Just like the Centre for Disease Control and NACA came out to issue a disclaimer that it is not correct, as an agency we align with the positions of these agencies that are based on scientific evidence,” he said.
According to Shuaib, anyone announcing cure for any disease must follow some rigorous steps to test the findings.
“ That process has not being followed by the professor. It is strange,” he said.
He added, “Based on the evidence that he has provided that he had treated 10 patients and when you look at the records he had presented, it falls short of what is expected in terms of rigour, in terms of what is acceptable.
“There are huge doubts whether the claims are true or not.
“We engaged the university and found out the information provided by the professor cannot be relied upon.
“By the information I have, we found out that those persons were not cured. I don’t have direct engagement with the patients so I cannot hold brief for that investigation,” he told the Senate committee.