NEW HOPE FOR AIDS IN AFRICA
HIV/AIDS is a pandemic in Africa, particularly in Southern Africa where 70% percent of the world's 42 million people infected with the disease live. There are twenty-six million people living in sub-Saharan Africa who are infected with HIV/AIDS. It is the leading cause of death on the continent. In fact, the number of children with HIV/AIDS is rising in every region of the world at an epidemic rate, and this has gotten the attention of world leaders who are committed to acting now to change these alarming trends.
And if this growing problem is not bad enough, a new strain of the AIDS virus has been recently discovered to be resistant to any known drug. The U.S. government is proposing a $15 billion dollar budget to fight AIDS in Africa and in the Caribbean, and the Global Fund located in Switzerland is proposing to match that amount.
Fighting the disease has become, without a doubt, the number one health concern in the world. Yet hope for the millions of infected people around the globe has emerged from the most unlikely of place, the field of nutrition.
In July of 2004, the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine reported the results of a study of 1,000 HIV infected women in Tanzania. The seven year, double bind study placebo study, demonstrated that simple multi-vitamin supplementation delayed the progression of HIV/AIDS and was an effective and inexpensive means of delaying the initiation of antiretroviral therapy in HIV infected women.
Currently, there seems to be even greater optimism in the treatment of HIV/AIDS because of a new complex of vital food supplements called glyconutrients. This newly discovered category of nutrients has significantly improved the quality of life for HIV/AIDS infected people, adults and children in field trials, and medical professionals are excited about their application and their impact.
According to government leaders and health officials in East Africa, glyconutrients should play a crucial role in the effort to combat the scourge of HIV/AIDS that is killing off an entire generation, overwhelming health care systems and leaving millions of children without parents or care givers." Glyconutrients have proven to be effective in the fight against HIV/AIDS," said the Honourable Edith Grace Ssempala, the Ugandan ambassador to the United States. "They are something that should definitely be used in the fight against the virus. It is my hope that some of the $15 billion allocated is used to acquire glyconutrients to treat people who are suffering from AIDS. The future of an entire continent is at stake."
Ambassador Ssempala said that she was excited about the experiences of patients in Kenya who had successfully treated with glyconutrients by a Kenyan physician and saids believed that patients infected with the virus in her country would have similar results as those in Kenya that borders Uganda. "It has worked in Kenya and I believe that it will work here," she said.
"People are suffering and glyconutrients are among the weapons that we should use to combat this dreadful disease that is destroying a generation of people in Uganda, and in countries throughout the world. While Uganda is recognised as a global leader in the fight against AIDS, Ambassador Ssempala says that the infection rate of eight percent is still too high.
"We must do something and we must do something right now," she said. "We can help people who are infected by giving them glyconutrients which protect and boost the immune system. We can give them a better quality of life. The results in Kenya are very promising," she added.
Recently, a well-respected Kenyan surgeon, Dr. Ben Akenga visited Uganda and shared his experiences using glyconutrients to treat HIV/AIDS patients with Uganda President Yoweri Museveni, leaders in his administration, Ugandan doctors and other health professionals.
Dr. Akenga, a graduate of the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland and former medical director of several hospitals in Southwestern Kenya told the Ugandan officials that glyconutrients were necessary to support the body's normal function of repair. "The use of glyconutrients is one of the most critical strategies for supporting the body's normal healing functions," Dr. Akenga said. "We have had tremendous success using glyconutrients while treating people infected with HIV/AIDS in Kenya.
Dr. Akenga said that the patients that he treated with glyconutrients were in terminal stages with many clinical manifestation of HIV/AIDS along with many of its complications. They were bed-ridden and were brought to the hospital to die while their families made funeral arrangements, he said. "To my amazement and to the amazement of my colleagues, all of the patients who were treated with glyconutrients were up and walking within two to three weeks," he said. "In the fifteen years that I have been dealing with the virus, I had never seen anything like this. "They were discharged from the hospital and prescribed anti-retroviral drugs which they had not been given earlier because of their weakened medical conditions."
Akenga, who is also an expert in tropical diseases, described glyconutrients as eight specific sugars that are essential for proper cellular communication. "They are so vital to the proper function of every human cell that an entire new science called Glycobiology evolved in the early 1990s to study their biological functions. "We are just learning about this crucial science in Africa," he said.
Nyine Bitahwa, a Ugandan economist and scientific researcher trained in Germany and Eastern Europe, said that traditional healers in Africa have long used plant extracts to treat life-challenging diseases such as HIV/AIDS. "We in africa are excited that this new science of Glycobiology has been identified and that people in the medical community are taking a serious look at it and realising that it is effective," said Bitahwa, who directs a government backed herbal medical research institute located five hours by car from Kampala.
Bitahwa said that herbal medicine in Africa was centuries old, but that it has been neglected because colonialists outlawed its practice, forcing a change to western, pharmaceutical based medicine. "We are now seeing a rejuvenation of herbal medicines. We believe that many of the cures to the ailments that plague the human family are in the leaves of the plants that surround us, and in the barks of trees that sustains us," Bitahwa said.