Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s claim to cure infertility among women should be critically examined. The leader who claims ability to cure HIV/AIDS, asthma, and diabetes has commenced the treatment of 232 Gambian women suffering from barrenness.
In a continent where many people suffer from the mentioned diseases, responsible leadership calls for a sober verification of the claims. Cases abound in Africa where terminally ill individuals are subjected to exploitation by religious and traditional healers. Cashing on their desperation, these opportunists extort huge fortunes from them and direct them to “special” clinics for screening, where they are declared disease-free. The leader should thus reveal his herbs, outline their active ingredients, explicate his methodology and allow independent international scrutiny that respects his intellectual property rights. It is estimated that the cost of developing a new drug and bringing it to the market is over $350 million and the process may take 10 years. If Yahya has discovered a shortcut that is relatively cheap, and is proven to work, he should go ahead and commercialize it.
Above all, Africans should be empowered economically to enable them access drugs; make choices and access information that will make them healthy.