Chief wants Mazabuka vaccine trial officials arrested

Chief Mwanachingwala of Mazabuka district has has ordered the Microbicide Development Programme (MDP) to immediately devise a compensation scheme for the women who have been infected during trials.
The chief also told ZANIS in Mazabuka today that everyone who was involved in the research should be prosecuted for ruining the lives of 46 women that have since contracted the virus following the failed efficacy of the gel called PRO 2000.

He said some of the women have since petitioned him to intervene in the matter.

The traditional ruler said he will not allow any more trials to be conducted on human beings especially illiterate women in his chiefdom.

Chief Mwanachingwala said government should also investigate why only vulnerable and uneducated women were recruited under the research while those that understood the implications of the research were left out.

He advised government to be careful in future by not allowing organisations to conduct research that would result in increasing the HIV infection rate in the country.

Mazabuka Central Member of Parliament Gary Nkombo has also called on government not to allow MDP to continue carrying out trials in his area.

MDP plans to initiate yet another ARV based microbicide and is targeting 60 women in Lubombo area in Chief Naluama in Mazabuka.

The Gel, PRO 2000, was administered on HIV negative women an hour before any sexual encounter to determine its effectiveness.

Yesterday, Mazabuka District MDP Community Liaison officer, Kennedy Mundia told ZANIS that calls to suspend the trials are counter productive because his organisation is in hurry to find a remedy for HIV/AIDS.

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