University of Benin on Wednesday distanced itself from Prof. Isaiah Ibeh’s claim that he had found a possible cure for AIDS.
Reports on Wednesday quoted Ibeh, who is UNIBEN’s Dean of Basic Medical Sciences, as saying he had developed a herbal drug capable of curing AIDS.
He told the News Agency of Nigeria in Benin on Tuesday that the new drug had undergone “a series of successful tests”.
But speaking with our correspondent in his office on Tuesday, Provost, College of Medical Sciences, UNIBEN, Prof. Vincent Iyawe, said the university was unaware of the breakthrough, and would therefore not substantiate it until procedures for verifying such were concluded.
Iyawe said, “The school will like to take credit for a breakthrough, but the school cannot align with the breakthrough because the university college was not consulted and the university was not consulted. He didn’t carry anybody along, so, this is the issue. There are protocols and procedures, stage by stage procedures
“We are going to take it (drug) to the clinical laboratory, we are going to take it to the Federal Ministry of Health because they have a procedure there.
“We’ll probably take it to NAFDAC because it is a unit or department of the ministry. We’ll take it for clinical trial, and many things we’ll have to do before we can announce that we discovered something.
“In fact, we have to take it to the World Health Organisation. So these are the things we are discussing.”
Asked whether Ibeh was unaware of such procedures before going public, Iyawe said, “I don’t know. He can answer that question, but we are not granting a press interview. I said after we have finished, we can still call you people (media). All we are doing is to protect him.”
However, the provost was not sure of how long it could take the university to verify Ibeh’s claim.
Iyawe said, “It depends on what we are dealing with; it depends on the virus or bacteria you are dealing with. It could take years, it’s not something you expect an answer to in two weeks or one month’s time. Don’t drag me into this.”
Ibeh, who was present, said, “I will naturally maintain studied silence.
“I align myself with the voice of the Provost. Please don’t drag him at all in troubled waters. I am sure he has my best interest because we are not just friends, he is my boss and he will certainly look out for my interest.”
Meanwhile, Ibeh said the unwillingness of big hospitals to provide a larger sampling population for the new research may hinder further research works and progress.
In a telephone interview with one of our correspondents, he said there were still questions to be answered about the product and other procedures to be followed to ensure the authentication of his claim.
Ibeh said, “There are no hospitals willing to cooperate with us, this is a challenge. We need a larger population size for this study. In every research, there are three types of individual. They are all important for us to make authentic scientific conclusions. We have the hyper, normal and hypo individuals, a bigger sampling size will enable us to examine the impact of the drug on all these groups.”