Prophetic Healing and Deliverance (PHD) Ministries founder Prophet Walter Magaya yesterday said he was ready to work with the Ministry of Health and Child Care who will conduct clinical trials on his Aguma herb following several engagements last week.
Prophet Magaya, who said he was happy Government had given him a chance, also said the Ministry of Health and Child Care would look into the report findings by an Indian company which conducted initial research on the herb.
“According to what the ministry has assured us, we are going to run very intense trials until they have come up with a position on the plant,” he said.
This announcement follows a joint Press conference by the Ministry of Health and Child Care and Prophet Magaya in Harare last Thursday.
At the Press conference, Minister of Health and Child Care Dr Obadiah Moyo said relevant local bodies would conduct clinical trials to test the efficacy of Aguma Onco, a herbal supplement which Prophet Magaya discovered and based his claims on.
The clinical trials will be funded by Prophet Magaya and both his team and several independent bodies and Government will conduct them for transparency, while a timeline for release of findings was not given.
Dr Moyo said any other person willing to have clinical trials in future would also fund them.
Dr Moyo said when he returned from Kazakhstan where he was attending a WHO meeting on primary health care, he engaged Prophet Magaya, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), the Secretary for Health and the National Institute of Health Research.
“We had a very good meeting and were very open with each other with Prophet Magaya. At the end of the day, he apologised for having gone a bit too fast and had not realised his popularity and the impact of his message to the general population of Zimbabwe.
“Normally you have other prophets who are of a small calibre, who will talk to a small congregation and there will be no distortions to what they say.
“He might have been under some form of pressure, but naturally he is now back in the fold,” Dr Moyo said.
He said they would ensure transparency.
“Prophet Magaya’s people will be part of the team. Everyone will be checking each other so that we do not come out with any falsification of results. We are an authority, a ministry, we are genuine and will make sure that whatever we do will be in line with laid-down laws.
“We will ensure the ministry and himself will carry out this clinical trial,” explained Dr Moyo.
He said it was not the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s responsibility to thwart anyone’s ideas and discoveries.
“We want discoveries in Zimbabwe. We have been using herbal concoctions from other countries. They come here and we accept them. We have so many of them coming from outside Zimbabwe, but they are not going through rigorous processes.
“But for this particular one because it started as a controversial product it is in everyone’s interest that it goes through a through testing process, a rigorous and scientific process so that at the end of the day we can say it was relevant or not,” he added.
He said Prophet Magaya’s popularity and the speed with which the “breakthrough” was announced might have causes some unease in medical cirxles.
“However, he now appreciates that there are regulations to be followed which is very good,” said Dr Moyo.
He emphasised that people should continue taking their ARV medications.
He also said new discoveries should got though scientific processes.