Gammora: MCAZ dismisses HIV cure claims

Source: Gammora: MCAZ dismisses HIV cure claims | The Herald (Opinion)

Gammora Medicine purported to be curing HIV.

The Interview with Cathrine Murombedzi

WITH Gammora not a registered medicine in Zimbabwe, the sale of the product is not sanctioned by the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe, (MCAZ).

In a recent interview with Gammora distributors, it was clear that their love for money knows no boundary and can send hoodwinked people to an early grave. 

People living with HIV and any other chronic diseases risk drug interactions and defaulting after following wild claims by a Harare-based distributor of Gammora.

There are claims the drug is an HIV cure by Zion, an Israeli-based pharmaceutical company. 

Research showed that it made African headlines in 2018, after claiming to have been a success in Uganda after “clinical trials” on nine patients. 

Recently in Zimbabwe, a local distributor has been selling the product with testimonies of being cured flaunted on their Facebook page. 

Gammora is said to cure one of HIV after taking it for 30 days. 

This writer engaged the distributor and was assured of a cure after stating that she was on antiretroviral therapy, (ART) and was virally suppressed for six years. 

Asking on cost and how the medication worked, the seller assured of a cure and gave testimonials from their FB page. Herewith, the discussion with the writer CM.

CM: How much does your HIV Cure medication cost?

Where were the clinical trials run?

Does one stop taking the medication after 21 days with a guarantee of being cured or one continues for some months?

How do you verify that one is cured?

Seller: Thanks for contacting Gammora HIV Cure.

Kindly we would like to know your status and your age 

And are you taking ARVs yet or no? 

Remember our treatment  will take you 30 days to be cured. Remember you are  not allowed to take alcohol during treatment period and keep your body healthy and strong by eating in time. We are ?? you will  cured and permanently, trust in our health and live longer . . . 

Remember our medicine has three different types of cure 

There type A B C

Type A is for those ones who are  taking ARVS medication. 

Type B is the one for those who are yet to take ARVS or under three months on ARV treatment. 

Type C is the one for people who are  facing other types of strong desires like stroke,

Pressure act . . . 

Reply with your type?

Note: Our offices are located at Sam Levy’s Village Harare. 

And we give free delivery within Harare and nearby towns,” said the sales representative. (Sic)

CM: Is your medication registered with the local Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ)? 

Seller: There is no need to register it with the MCAZ because it is not a locally manufactured drug. The clinical trials were carried out in Uganda and all nine participants were cured. 

The myth by the distributors that only locally produced medicines must be registered is baffling. 

MCAZ warns against the use of Gammora.

The use of Gammora was sanctioned as it did not pass through the regulatory authority. 

The drug was developed by Zion Medical, an Israeli-based Biotech company and in 2018 claimed that the drug was tested on nine Ugandan patients at Dr Ronald Bata Memorial Hospital. 

MCAZ has since engaged the police as it is mandated to protect public health. 

Earlier, MCAZ issued a statement via its official Twitter account where it encouraged members of the public to buy medicine from registered premises. 

“The mandate of the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ) is to protect public health by ensuring that medicines and medical devices on the market are safe, effective and of good quality. Thus, all herbal medicines should be registered by the MCAZ. Gammora is currently not registered and not approved for sale in Zimbabwe.” 

Zion Medical CEO, Zyon Ayni defended that while the trial was not registered with the National Drug Authority (NDA), this kind of approval was not necessary because the study took place in a military hospital. 

The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) has confirmed that regardless where a trial takes place, it must go through both the

The Uganda National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST) has confirmed that regardless where a trial takes place, it must go through both the UNCST and the NDA. 

Olive Mutabeni, founder and director of Life Empowerment Support Organisation said it was shocking to still have people making wild cure claims. 

“It is four decades into HIV and people must know that the only effective treatment is ART which suppresses the virus to undetectable levels. We all await a cure and such clinical trials are of interest to all of us. What chicanery to claim a trial on nine patients in Uganda. Why was the trial a secret? Please, such risk posers must be arrested,” demanded Mutabeni. 

People living with HIV have also spoken against taking unregistered drugs.

Josh Vamwe said the need for a cure was the cause of all this. 

“We need clinical trials not testimonies . . . ! Unfortunately, as people, we are looking for total cure not viral load suppression or control of the disease . . . ! 

It is in our DNA. 

People are desperate to heal, they need complete healing. Listen to the prayers offered and see the supposed miracles and stuff said and done from various pulpits. 

The current drugs are meant to suppress the virus only. 

So the marketer finds the missing need “to treat the HIV” . . . we have people (including medical staff) going off ART because a prophet has said you are healed,” said Vamwe. 

Norah Maposa said the gap in cure posed all the challenges. 

“Some patients have gone off ART pursuing herbs. 

So the company selling Gammora has found a niche which they exploit by claiming complete cure. 

We have had a lot of cure fads, a mushroom grown in water was supposed to cure high blood pressure, zvihuta supposed to be medicinal. 

Do you think if they had introduced zvihuta as a delicacy, people would have gone for it? 

Today, STC3 is also claimed to be a panacea of all diseases including cancers! Just too many fads to mention by name. 

Prophet Walter Magaya also once imported his cure, Aguma. This too was a fake product which saw him hauled to the courts of law. 

I imagine the defaults and deaths that he would have caused as a man of cloth with a huge following. 

By now people must be aware of fake cure claims,” said Maposa. 

With social media alerts, exposure of fake medicine, rapists, violence and any evil doing, the long arm of the law soon catches up with the culprits. 

Renowned global experts in HIV, Aidsmap.com stated that Gammora is not a cure for HIV. 

“This is no better than conventional antiretroviral therapy — which, of course, the trial participants were also taking,” said Aidsmap. 

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