The newly appointed health minister, Dr Christine Ondoa Dradidi, has told The Observer that prayer heals HIV/AIDS, and that she knows three people who were once positive but turned negative after prayer for deliverance.

She, however, said medical workers and the general public should be cautious about people who claim they were healed of HIV.

“I am sure and I have evidence that someone who was positive turned negative after prayers,” Ondoa told The Observer on last week, promising to ask colleagues in Arua hospital, where she once worked, to find the relevant documentation.

She spoke of her time as a doctor in West Nile when she handled cases of people who claimed to be negative after ARV treatment and prayers.
“While there [West Nile], we did thorough testing and saw all documentation of three people who were once positive. We tested them in different laboratories and the results were negative,” Ondoa told The Observer.

She had earlier told a press conference that while some people indeed turn out to be negative, others were either misdiagnosed or were not positive in the first place. In some cases, she said, a person may be negative but starts ARV treatment because they lost a partner to AIDS. Ondoa said usually, when a person is to start ARV treatment, all confirmatory tests should be done to be sure the person is indeed positive and eligible for ARVs.

She said as a scientist, she is often careful not to automatically believe a person who comes to her presenting negative results after being prayed for. Such a person’s sero status must be checked, their past medical records that show they tested positive must be scrutinized and repeat tests done in different laboratories to prove the claim, she said.

Ondoa also clarified on recent reports that there is a shortage of ARVs in the country. She said there are enough ARVS in Uganda to last at least six months. She said the problem her ministry is facing with regard to ARVs is reaching all the people that need the treatment.

Population growth

Addressing a dissemination meeting by the Health Communication Partnership on July 26, Ondoa said Uganda’s first solution to bringing down the high population growth rate is to ensure that boys and girls go to school and stay in school. Girls are often married off young and start child bearing at a tender age after dropping out of school.

The minister said government should particularly promote girls’ education because the more people are informed, the more they will act responsibly.

“When mothers are educated, they make informed decisions; they are employed and empowered. If they are not educated, they depend on men,” Ondoa said.
She added that one of the reasons why maternal mortality in Uganda is high, at 430 per 100,000, according to the Population Reference Bureau’s World Women and Girls Data Sheet of 2011, is because women have too many children too soon.

“Family planning, together with education, will help space children and parents will have numbers they are able to manage, making women’s health better,” Ondoa said.

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0 #31 yklo 2011-08-03 11:30
I didnt know Uganda has many non believers. HIV can be healed through prayer and i totaly agree with the minister.

If ARVs can reduce the viral load to undetectable levels what about God almighty. Who is more powerful the ARV tablets or God?

God is more powerful than the ARVs. However we should continue to behave responsiblity.
0 #32 a70667 2011-08-03 13:33
Let's be clear ... there is NO medical cure for HIV/AIDS!!! As a Christian, I believe miracles do occur but NOT always!!! So not everyone who prays will get healed.

No one knows the distribution formula for miracles!!! With this in mind, the Minister as a person in high position from responsibility should NOT introduce dice into the question of HIV. Rather she should keep that for her fellowships.
0 #33 a70667 2011-08-03 13:39
A pharmacist friend of mine once told me that HIV is a curse! He said, as a pharmacist, he thinks there will NEVER be a cure for HIV/AIDS because, in his opinion, it is God's punishment for sexual immorality.

Those are the words of a professional pharmacist who has better understanding of medicines. If I am to further decode his statement, once you've got it, you stay with it and probably prayer will not necessarily take it away; your sins will be forgiven but your HIV will stay with till the end.
0 #34 Jim Muwonge 2011-08-03 16:22
With all the education and previledges th honourable lady has got can't separate fact and fiction!!

If a minister can ave such empty talk then hospital are about to be bulldozed to erect 'prayer halls' to heal the sick!! @Its an irony but at this rate God bless uganda coz we so lost!!
0 #35 Lawot 2011-08-03 18:23
Isn’t this the same woman who, not long ago accused God of meddling in the exams process by revealing the questions to her even before the exams began?

Why would the Observer even bother to interview her? – Because every time this woman opens her mouth, I find myself cringing. Former South African president (T. Mbeki) invoked the world’s scorn when he infamously declared that AIDS had no etiologic link to viruses.

Fast forward to 2011, and we are now hearing from Uganda’s health minister that you can just say a few ‘Hail Marys’ and a HIV patient walks home, completely free of the virus.

It wouldn’t bother me at all if the assertions had come from some other born-again individual, but the fact that they emanated from the mouth of the health minister shows the lamentable state of our country today.

Ideally, this woman was appointed to the wrong ministry. A minister for ‘religious affairs’, if such a portfolio existed, would have been her forte.

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