He then orders the thin man to swallow a bitter yellow drink, followed by two bananas.“Whatever you do, there are bound to be skeptics, but I can tell you my method is foolproof,” President Yahya Jammeh told an Associated Press reporter, surrounded by bodyguards in his presidential compound. “Mine is not an argument, mine is a proof. It’s a declaration. I can cure AIDS and I will.”
In a continent suffering from the world’s worst AIDS epidemic, Jammeh’s claims of a miracle cure are alarming public health workers already struggling against faith-healers dispensing herbal remedies from inside thatched huts.
The biggest concern is that the Gambian leader requires patients to cease their anti-retroviral drugs, a move that risks weakening their immune systems and making them even more prone to infection, said Dr. Antonio Filipe Jr., head of the World Health Organization in neighboring Senegal.
WHO’s Filipe was diplomatic about Jammeh’s claims, saying his organization respects the president’s point of view. But, he added: “As the World Health Organization, we would like to state quite clearly the following — No. 1: so far there is no cure for AIDS.”
pic from: Cabdace Feit / AP