Life Saving March on the 13. November!

KwaZulu Natal Christian Council 07 November 2013

A Call to Action, save lives –Say No to Quacks. The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC), KZNCC and Theologians invite your organisation to join a Life Saving March on the 13 November 2013 in Durban. We have all had enough! Government, community members, People of faith, health care workers and activists are coming together to stop quacks. Quackery is a major obstacle in the fight against HIV, tuberculosis. (TB) and other serious diseases in KwaZulu Natal. Quacks offer our people unproven treatments and concoctions claiming that it will cure or improve their disease. Often quacks convince our people to stop taking effective medicines – like antiretroviral therapy for HIV. There is no cure for HIV, but antiretrovirals can suppress the virus and allow HIV-positive people to live normal lives. No other treatments apart from ARVs have been proven to work against HIV. We will fight to the bitter end if they ever try to arrest him because Nala is God. Church member during our visit to Nala’s place.. Nala claims that God is using him to cure Aids. He says he is able to change a positive HIV test to a negative test and he says he has proof. Bishop Nala told TAC, KZNCC, media and other concerned individuals that his “Gospel of Plenty” can deliver you from all sin, homosexuality, poverty and sickness including HIV and Aids through the use of prayer and his Holy Water. The water is packed in plastic water bottles branded with his logo and image. It is sold at his church in Umbilo for R15 for a small bottle and R30 for the big one. Nala said he has long list of people that he has helped who have now been cured of Aids through prayer and the use of his Holy Water. 5 ladies came out to testify. Some have even stopped taking their antiretroviral (ARV) treatment because they say that they have been “cured” of Aids by the Faith Healer Bishop H.Q. Nala. Another quack, Kim Cools claiming the mix of fruits and vegetables heal AIDS. ttp:// Bishop H.Q. Nala and Kim Cools, like many other quacks claim that their concoctions can cure HIV or increase your CD4 count. None of these concoctions have been proven to increase your CD4 count. Quacks exploit the desperation that many of us feel when we are struggling with HIV or TB. Some of them exploit our people’s desperation so that they can get rich. Others do not do it for the money, but because they have convinced themselves that their concoctions work, even if they have no proper evidence to prove it. When quacks convince a person with HIV to stop taking ARVs, then that person can become resistant to those ARVs and then those specific ARVs may stop working for that person. When that patient one day starts taking ARVs again, he or she might need to take different, much more expensive ARVs. In this way, quacks are undermining the province’s fight against HIV. The Treatment Action Campaign has received reports from doctors telling us of patients who stop taking treatment and who then got very sick. We cannot allow this to continue. One of the worst quacks we know of in the province is Kim Cools, who sells a concoction called Umlingo Wamangcolosi. This untested and unproven concoction is often sold as a treatment for HIV. People who take it are also often encouraged to stop taking ARVs. What can be done? • The KZN Department of Health together with the police must take the proper legal steps to shut down the businesses of quacks like Kim Cools. It is in clear contravention of the Medicines Act to sell treatments for HIV if such treatments have not been registered with the Medicines Control Council. • The media and the KZN provincial government must take steps to better inform the public about the dangers of quackery. • Radio stations, newspapers and television stations must not sell advertising space to quacks or allow them to speak on talk shows or other programmes where they can unlawfully promote their products. But what about people who say it works? We often hear people say “but the concoction cured that one”. Testimonies like this are not reliable. Sometimes quacks simply lie to us about their products and convince others to spread the same lie. However, at other times people honestly believe that the concoction made them better. This is understandable. However, there is no way for that person to know that they would not have got better anyway. Think of how you sometimes get a headache – and how it then goes away by itself. Now, if you had a glass of beer just before your headache got better you may think that it was the beer that healed your headache. You would be fooling yourself though, since your headache would have got better in any case. In the same way quacks often claim the credit for the ways in which we would have felt better even without treatment. The only way we can make sure whether a specific treatment really cures or treats a specific disease is by doing clinical trials. Only once a treatment has thoroughly been tested in a number of clinical trials can we be sure that it works. For More information Call: Mzamo Zondi : 0822682531