By BENEDICT OKETHWENGU
Although she dropped out of school in Primary three, she purports to have a cure for HIV/AIDS and is cashing in on that claim in Nebbi, despite repeated calls by health experts that there is no cure for the disease.
Kalsum Aliru, 36, who hails from Osikia village, Palaja Parish, Kei division in Yumbe district is stationed at Twahid mosque, in Nebbi Town. She told the New Vision this week that, she has a herbal concoction that can cure HIV/AIDS and 35 other chronic diseases including cancer.
The self-proclaimed HIV/AIDS healer has apparently won the hearts of many in Nebbi, including some leaders of Twahid mosque. The leaders of the mosque have also offered her free accommodation to allow how administer purported treatment for HIV positive patients. Ibrahim Wana, the Imam of Twahid mosque said they are not charging Aliru for accommodation, even though she is making money because she is helping people.
Aliru claims that her two-year-old daughter instructed her to come and save the people of Nebbi from HIV/AIDS. She claims that her herbs are much better than the ARVs.
“My two years old daughter instructed me to come and save the people in Nebbi from dying of HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases, that is why I am here and I will stay for seven days before she instructs me, to go to other places,” Aliru said through an interpreter.
Health expert in Nebbi has, however, warned people against going to seek treatment from such a person who claims that they have medicine for curing HIV/AIDS.
But Dr Jerry Opoki of Nebbi hospital said there is no known drug that can cure HIV/AIDS. He added that even the antiretroviral (ARVs) drugs that are being administer for HIV positive people at the health centers does not cure but can only suppress the viral load for the immunity system to regain.
“It is very dangerous and misleading for one to say that he/she has medicine to cure HIV/AIDS. There is no drug that can cure HIV/AIDS, even the ARVSs being given Hundred of desperate locals from Nebbi Town Council and nearby sub-counties on Sunday (December, 29, 2012) thronged Twahid Mosque, in Nebbi Town to seek treatment from the herbalist.
When New Vision visited Twahid mosque where, she is stationed, many locals were struggling to have a share of the herbal medicine which were boiling in nearly four huge saucepans. She charges sh. 500 for a cup of the herb and sh.50, 000 for the HIV/AIDS.
She claimed that she has treated people with various ailments including HIV/AIDS in the last two years of her operation various, but one of her document that was seen by New Vision showed that Aliru was registered as herbalist with Yumbe herbalist Association and has been operating for the last 16 years .
In one of the letter dated 5th February 2011 and signed by top district and security organs of Adjumani district, Aliru was pushing to register a community based organisanation in the name Amolualu Madi Herbalist Association Adjumani, contracting her earlier statement that she has been in operation for the last two years.
Aliru who was in relax mood kept on smiling as people scramble to give their money to have share of herbs, a concoction of boiled water and back of unidentified tree, which she said can only be got in Yumbe on the instruction her two year old daughter.
Asked how one will know he is HIV negative, she said she will come back to get testimony from people who bought the medicine on instruction of the kid.
She also said that people should be able to call her on phone, but when New Vision insisted to have her number, Aliru said, she could not remember the number off head and there is no network in her place.
Dr Opoki appealed to the people in Nebbi to be very careful with because, they prefer to say they can treat HIV/AIDS so that they can hoodwink desperate people who wants to get heal from the chronic disease.
“I advise those who are on ARVs to continue taking and those who have not to enroll, otherwise this people wants to make money in the name of HIV/AIDS,” Dr Opoki said.