The controversy trailing the alleged discovery of a herbal medicine capable of curing the dreaded HIV/AIDS by Nigerian academic, Prof. Isaiah Ibeh, Dean, School of Basic Medical Science of University of Benin (UNIBEN), took a twist Thursday, following the recanting of the claim by the professor.
In a five-paragraph statement made available to journalists in Benin City, Prof. Ibeh expressed regrets over the publication of his acclaimed discovery of a drug that could cure
HIV/AIDS, saying that the publication was a misrepresentation of what actually transpired.
“The true position is that some observations of our Research are preliminary and the research is still ongoing.
“I am very sorry for the embarrassment this has caused the University of Benin and Professional Colleagues, realizing that there are procedures of reporting such Scientific result,” he said.
Meanwhile, the UNIBEN management has further distanced itself from Prof. Ibeh in an official pronouncement.
A press statement signed by the University’s Public Relations Officer, Barr. Harrison Osarenren, said as a reputable institution, well rooted in the promotion of research and development, it considers the publicized claim an embarrassment, bearing in mind that there were laid down procedures for disseminating academic breakthroughs.
The University while appreciating Prof. Ibeh’s efforts, pointed out that his procedure did not follow laid down protocol said, adding, “for the avoidance of doubt, the said claim by Prof. Ibeh is a research exercise which is still in its infancy stage and therefore, on-going.”
The UNIBEN management maintained that until all the appropriate scientific processes have been duly followed in the research, it could not make any pronouncement on the research.
The National Agency for Food, Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Thursday also debunked the claim, with its Director-General, Dr Paul Orhii, saying Ibeh’s claim was capable of misleading the public, especially those with the virus.
“There is no known treatment anywhere in the world now; no known cure; there are medicines that can contain HIV and AIDS but there is no known scientifically approved cure for HIV and AIDS.
“I want to categorically tell you, to avoid any doubt, make it abundantly clear to you that NAFDAC completely disassociates itself from the claims for a cure of HIV and AIDS made by Prof. Isaiah Ibeh of the University of Benin.
“The agency wishes to state that this herbal drug, which is claimed to have undergone a series of successful tests has never been presented to NAFDAC for evaluation of efficacy and safety.
“And as you know, we are the agency that has the mandate to make quality pronouncement on drugs that are to be used in Nigeria; we have never evaluated this drug.’’ ·