Fund Nigerian HIV drug clinical test, inventor begs government

Dr. Ogbonnaya Onu: Minister of Science and Technology

Prof Maduike Ezeibe has called on the Federal Government to provide funds for government hospitals and treatment centres to enable them to try out a new HIV drug invented by him.

Ezeibe, a lecturer in Veterinary Medicine Department of Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Umuahia, made the call in a statement sent to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Aba.

The don thanked the government for accepting to verify his claims that his invention -Medicinal Synthetic Aluminum Magnesium Silicate (MSAMS), could cure HIV.

He, however, said that funding the phase of the clinical trials of the drug required huge sums of money, so heavy that his salary alone could not afford it.

” May I use this medium to appeal to the Ministry of Science and Technology to help process the application to TETFund so that the money could be released to my university for us to expand the clinical trial being presently financed with my salary.

“A dose of the medicine is only N71 per day and average treatment duration before cure is 10 months, which means that cost of the medicine for treating a patient would be about N21,300. 00.

“If cost for lab tests and cost for supportive therapies are added, cost for getting a patient cured may be about N40,000.

“Since TETFund has a limit for funds it can give for any single project, it may not be able to fund treatment for more than 2,000 patients.

“So, I suggest that funds be made available to medical centres/teaching hospitals of all Nigerian universities, medical centres of all research institutes, all federal medical centres and all military and paramilitary hospitals.

“This would help them try the medicine on at least 2,000 patients.

“That way, we may be able to test the medicine on at least 10 per cent of the over 3,200,000 HIV/AIDS patients in the country to be treated.

“This would give us enough data to prove to the world that Nigeria has invented cure for HIV/AIDS.”

Ezeibe thanked the ministers of Science and Technology and Health who constituted a joint inter-ministerial Committee to verify his claim and selecting his invention for grant award of N300,000.

He said he was grateful for the grant but noted that it was not enough to complete the very important clinical research needed to put the drug in the market.

The don also thanked Prof. Francis Otunta, the Vice-Chancellor of the University, Sen. Theodore Orji and others who helped in getting government to accept his claim and to ask for further verification.