Witness recalls loss of 9 lives in Jammeh Alternative Treatment Programme

Jul 17, 2020, 10:54 AM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham

An anonymous witness yesterday testified before the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparation Commission (TRRC), saying she remembered that at least two people had died during the former President, Yahya Jammeh's HIV/AIDS Alternative Treatment. She added that seven other people died after the treatment.

She recalled that she was first diagnosed with HIV/AIDS in 2004, adding that she got an accident and blood transmission was given to her before she was diagnosed with the virus.

Witness said she was told that in those days people that normally donate blood were not usually checked. 

She recalled that she was given different kinds of treatments. “I was healthy in those days because people never thought that I was HIV positive. I was later consulted and joined Allah Tentu Society as the president. The group was to help people living with HIV, more particularly women and children."

She explained that she got to know the former President Yahya Jammeh's Alternative Treatment in 2007. According to her, she was informed by her colleague and then she went to Kanifing Hospital and registered. She said after the registration, they were taken to a big hall where beds were already prepared.

"The following day, we were taken to Banjul at State House to take our medications. It was when Yahya Jammeh, Dr. Mbowe, Dr. Mariam, Dr. Njie and others in uniform came before us. We were told that after starting the medicines, we will be healed before two weeks."

She further testified that they were given towels and a small cup and put into the room. She added that Jammeh will do his incantation and later rub a lotion on their bodies. 

The protected witness stated that on the first day of treatment when she took the concoction from Jammeh, she experienced nothing disturbing.

"There were types of medicine called “chakery” and “jinneh” that created problems for us. The medicines were given to us two times a day. I spent two months in the Alternative Treatment."

She added that Jammeh had ordered for filming to be broadcast on the national television without their consent.

"When we saw the images on the television, all of us were worried and some started calling us."

"I am feeling many difficulties and because of the hardship, I left my community and I couldn't pay my rent. Now when some people who know and pass-by me begging, they cry."

In her concluding remarks, she called for support to her child as his father disowned him.