Church, chief happy with probe into AIDS infections

Chief Mwanachingwala and the Catholic church in Mazabuka have welcomed the decision by the Human rights commission to institute investigations into how the 46 women who participated in the Microbicide Gel clinical trial contracted the HIV virus.

Chief Mwanachingwala told ZANIS in Mazabuka today, that the probe is welcome as it will expose a lot of information the organisation has been hiding from members of the public.

Chief Mwanachingwala alleged that all the women who participated in the clinical trial have been banned from sharing their experience with outsiders especially the press.

He said only the human rights commission will rescue the affected women from the psychological problems they are going through since none of them has been briefed on the outcome of the trials.

Chief Mwanachingwala alleged that two days ago, a team of medical doctors who only identified themselves as researchers from the University of Zambia pleaded with him not to issue negative statements on the failed clinical trials when they visited him at the palace.

He however, said, he would not be silenced because the organisation is not sincere on the matter.

And Catholic Priest in Charge, Father John Mansaya told ZANIS in Mazabuka, the intervention by the human rights commission is a relief to the church.

He said the church is saddened at the negative development that led to the failed efficacy of the drug which was meant to help women in blocking the transmission of the HIV.

Fr. Mansaya complained that at the inception of the clinical trials, the church objected to the testing of the drug on human beings.

He said MDP officials maintained the drug was effective and was the quickest remedy to HIV/AIDS.

Fr. Mansaya, however, regretted that MDP has not taken trouble to brief the church on the outcome of the results.

Efforts by ZANIS to get a comment from MDP Community Liason Officer, Kennedy Mundia failed as his mobile phone was switched off.

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