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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-2 #1 Peter Kato, Bugolobi 2011-08-01 06:22
I deplore the reckless talk of the Horrible Minister on prayers and HIV/AIDS!

This is the same nature of careless statements on HIV by South African President, Thabo Mbeki, a few years back, that caused the prevalence of the disease in that country to escalate!

What these statements essentially do, is they give our people false hopes. Pls do us a huge favor and take your high moral Pentecostal fantasies out of this! These are people’s agony and misery you're playing with here. Ate oba even the Holy Father has greatly restrained himself from this sort of spiritual madness, whenever he has come in contact with this subject!

Remember that our people are sooo gullible and vulnerable. Therefore any thing coming from a high profile leader, and a Medical Doctor at that, would be taken as full gospel truth!! I pray that you guard against this.
0 #2 mantie 2011-08-01 07:15
This confused woman seem to have a kimansulo mouth, and/or maybe a Kiibwetere blind fanatic. She is misguiding people with her contradictory lies.That,she knows about three people who were HIV/AIDS positive and later turned negative thru deliverance of prayers.

Then, at the same time she confesses that, it is both ARVS and prayers that can heal HIV.Which is which now.Religion and science are two separate things
-1 #3 sewankambo sentongo 2011-08-01 07:17
i know you belong to an organisation called NRM which wants us to believe that even God is a card holder of that organisation!bu t please as a minister of a sensitive ministry,help us and be a bit scientific.

as a doctor and the head of health in uganda,stop talking wolokoso,otherw ise you will lead alot to their graves quicker than it would have been
0 #4 John Diisi 2011-08-01 07:25
If a Minister of Health who is at the same time a medical doctor says prayers can heal AIDS, it better be true. Even then, I now expect escalation of claims by churches that they can annihilate HIV.
-2 #5 Nyambura 2011-08-01 07:31
Madam minister, please save us from this! If you are indeed a medical person - prayers can never heal AIDS!!!!

Unless you u did not have it. When you pray, you get relieved and relax sort of, but dont confuse people yet you should be the one to direct and advise them. Scientifically, prayers can and will never heal AIDS.
0 #6 John 2011-08-01 07:53
An IQ test should be obligatory before someone is sworn in as a minister!
-1 #7 Christine Alwenyi 2011-08-01 08:22
I totally agree with Peter Kato. The minister should apologise to the public. This is very absurd.
+1 #8 GMK 2011-08-01 08:26
Or did you stop at the title??

Read again before you comment.

The minister said that there is DOCUMENTATION and that she does not necessarily believe every claim of healing.

I think that is a balanced statement. She then proceeds to discuss the availability of ARVs and the challenges of dissemination of them. All of this very 'normal'..

Have any of you who commented actually read the article??
0 #9 Henry K 2011-08-01 09:27
Seeking earnestly and believing will definately get you to your objectives. I am sure in the near future, scientists will be able to isolate and quantify belief(call it faith) and be able to relate it to tangible results;(The power of the mind).

Its not suprising to have people that simply rubish off any ideas they percieve as strange, the dustbin of history is full of such. They laughed off the world being round etc. The bold and steadfast seekers into the unknown will always be exornerated even at the expense of being initially demeaned!
+4 #10 Robert Kirya 2011-08-01 09:32
What readers should note is that a human being is both physical and spirit in nature.The spirit world is the parent world of the physical world i.e it gave birth to the physical/seen world,therefore it is greater and superior.

In pentecostal circles,healing of whatever manner of disease is a normal thing and has been witnessed countless times.Scriptural basis is Isaiah 53.
0 #11 wodgot 2011-08-01 11:07
Aids is a disease caused by a virus and it's predominantly transmitted through sexual intercourse. The Hon minister lacks professional ethics as a doctor. If she was to be in the first world country like Britain, she would have been suspended from practicing medicine.

Prayers have got nothing to do with human flesh, it deals with human spirituality. The minister has got to know the distinction between individuality and spirituality in her capacity as a medical doctor and a christian.

She's made a very unfortunate statement as a professional doctor and as I talk now, she's lost credibility from the public as a doctor. I know she will be summoned for a breach of medical ethics.

When she was learning medicine, she was told that being a pagan is also a right which doctors should not interfere with!

If I were the President of Uganda, I would have dismissed her from the cabinet list, and if she were my area MP, I would have regreted voting for her. Christine Ondoa has become a public disgrace and a clown.
-1 #12 Jaffer Were 2011-08-01 11:25
This is a show of how hopeless this country has become with a religious fanatic holding the ministry of healthy.

Should we now become reckless, contract HIV after all, there are churches where we can go , pray and get healed. Where is this country going ? This is madness of the highest order. and you think such a person can be useful in the fight against married ?
0 #13 James 2011-08-01 11:54
No, no, i hope the journalist did not quote the minister out of context, as usual in the Ugandan political speak when things backfire!Please Hon Minister,clarif y.
0 #14 mbabazi 2011-08-01 12:28
Crap Minister!!!!, though such so called Ministers convoke the Name of God in order to dupe the impoverished Ugandans,some after helping themselves on the Uganda Treasury are not shy to tell us that the Holy Spirit speaks to them to have some beautiful houses in Rwakituura!!!

How can such a personality be appointed a Minister? This is another Kibweteere amongst us. Like the First Lady, who also uses the name of the Lord in vain, so is the same Minister of health. Where are we heading to?

To total demise. You all know of HE Yahaya Of The Gambia Republic, who says can heal AIDS victims by using sweet bananas and milk. Are we human beings in Africa or block heads? If we have some Ministers in our Country,duly appointed by someone calling himself Head Of State, these reflect who the appointee is.No wonder.
0 #15 Ali Ashraf Mohammed 2011-08-01 15:45
Dear Christine. You are the fountain of honour in the MoH. Please calculate your words before you face the press, or else you will become an embarrasment of yourself
0 #16 mashuna 2011-08-01 16:00
who is this minister and where has she been....looks like shes just coming out of a hole in 1982 ... i have had relatives die of HIV and we did pray trust me..we did day and night until they eventually passed...others have been on medication for 15 years and for some stupid person under the guise of education to come and abuse our intelligence like we havent seen our people suffer and die...

like i said give her 1 year and this balokole [censored] will be outof the window once she tastes money... doesnt she see the plight of millions of people around the world and the advancement of medicine they are making to give HIV positive people better lives...or are her prayers better answered than millions of others....

why does she want peple to resort to prayer and not take their medication...these kind of ministers piss me wonder uganda and other african countries are a lauhing stock when people see " our leaders" make sensless, baseless, statements...i wouldnt even let her treat my dog after this statement..she needs to go back to school
+1 #17 kintu christopher 2011-08-01 16:03
Remember whhen jesus was leaving us, he gave us the power to do wonders, like healing the terminaly sick,rising the dead and so on.

But we have to have faith for these wonders and healing to be achived and that is what most of us dont have, but surely i tell u that with faith mountains can in the name of the living GOD be achived.
0 #18 JV 2011-08-02 02:50
Then why can't the pentecostal circles/beliefs, eradicate the disease completely. As peter Kato puts it you guys are surely obsessed with your pentecostal fantasies, she is a Health minister, not Church minister.

Don't confuse our vulnerable p'ple. Could it be the reason that ARVs are out of stock, as i recently read i papers? that the horrible minister wants patients to turn to Prayers, perhaps to her church? with huge cash donations to be prayed for? let her give way to another competent scientist.
+2 #19 favor 2011-08-02 06:42
so what is the use of having a christian name and going to chaurch on sundays...or even saturdays if you cant believe that with God all things are possible...what is AIDS to God....God is capable of all things....wooo to you of little faith...bravo minister,you knew exactly what you were talking about.God bless you.WITH GOD ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE
-1 #20 ricks 2011-08-02 08:29
She is right. For those who just read the title, pliz re-read. Thanks

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