A Major General in the Egyptian army, who also heads the Cancer Treatment and Screening Center, has claimed in a televised news conference that army researchers have invented a fail-safe cure for AIDS, hepatitis C, and other viruses that works 100% of the time in AIDS patients and 95% of the time in those suffering from hepatitis C. Major General Ibrahim Abdel-Atti credits God for the miraculous discovery he claims to have made following 22 years of his own study with late help by military intelligence, but Essam Heggy, scientific advisor to the Egyptian president, has condemned his claim as a “scientific scandal.” Sunday’s announcement prompted harsh criticism from medical researchers, who fear that the false claim will harm Egypt’s image in terms of its scientists and its research.
According to a member of the army’s research team, Dr. Ihsan Hanfy Hussein, the “Complete Cure Device” extracts the patient’s blood, breaks down the viruses, and reintroduces the now disease-free blood back to the patient’s body. Hussein claims that the device will cure the diseases in a minimum of 16 hours. During the news conference to announce the miracle device, video played that depicted patients who were connected to boxy machines while others were followed by doctors, who monitored the patients with what seemed to be a hand exerciser with a swiveling antenna attached to it.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that hepatitis C levels are the highest worldwide in Egypt and that no less than 10% of its citizenry suffers from the disease. A highly respected Egyptian liver specialist, Dr. Gamal Shiha, said that he and his colleagues were astonished by the claim of the army. He is currently part of a team of scientists tasked with testing another controversial military-developed medical device that claims to diagnose hepatitis C without having to test patients’ blood.
Scientific research to prove the efficacy of newly-announced medical breakthroughs has fallen by the wayside in Egypt following the military-led removal of President Mohamed Morsy from office last year. The country has become increasingly loyal to the Egyptian army as well as the chief, El-Sisi. Human rights organizations claim that this new blind loyalty to the army has created a culture of repression in Egypt that has silenced opposition groups as well as imprisoned activists and journalists. In the wake of such fear, the people of Egypt accept what the military tells them as truth without demanding that claims such as the invention of a machine to cure AIDS and hepatitis C be proven.
Although claims of the newly-invented device have been accepted in Egypt, the worldwide medical community will demand to see research evidencing the claim, and the presentation of facts to support the claim in scientific journals and papers. At an exhibition of the device in Egypt to the director of the Institute for Liver and Digestive Health at University College London, Professor Massimo Pinzani, the director was not allowed to try the machine nor was offered any plausible explanations as to how the device worked, leading him to believe that the machine is a fraud.
Egyptian media and members of the press who are pro-military reported that the new device is scheduled to be available in June and that the citizens of Egypt should “rejoice.”
The device has been registered for a patent by the Armed Forces Engineering Agency and has been approved by the Ministry of Health for Egypt. At the unveiling of the “Complete Cure Device,” said to cure AIDS and hepatitis C, Abdel-Atti praised the chief of the army, Field Marshal Adbel Fattah El-Sisi, who also happens to be unofficially vying for the Egyptian presidency, leading to speculation that the device may have more to do with politics than medicine.
By Jennifer Pfalz