AfghanistanHakim Alokozai, 62 years old, claimed to cure Covid-19 for 5 million people with a liquid that the Afghan Ministry of Health accused of being a narcotic.
Mohammad Zaman traveled 335 kilometers through Taliban checkpoints, crossed dusty long dirt roads from Kunduz to Kabul, bringing back several bottles of liquid that he believed would cure Covid-19’s ailments.
Zaman claimed to have recovered from Covid-19 last month, after taking the medicine of a healer in the Afghan capital, Hakim Alokozai. The 50-year-old man and 12 more people travel from his hometown to Kabul, in hopes of bringing the curative liquid Covid-19 to hundreds of people in the countryside.
“I was sick more than a month ago, it was difficult to breathe. Within 10 days of using the medicine, all symptoms disappeared,” said Zaman as he drank a glass of black tea with three drops of medicine.
Hakim Alokozai claims to have cured Covid-19 for 5 million people in Afghanistan. Photo: Aljazzera
Like many Afghans across the country, Zaman and his family experienced symptoms they believed was caused by Covid-19 infection without going to the hospital, initially drinking just a cocktail of antiviral, fruit and cold medicine for self-treatment.
“We tried everything, nothing worked until we took this drug,” he said.
The creator of this herbal medicine is Alokozai, from Kandahar province in southern Afghanistan. He claims Zaman is a prime example of the effectiveness of this un-clinically tested drug, which Alokozai claims has cured 5 million people.
“Each of us cures will refer 50, 100 more, or even more,” he said without giving evidence.
“The only people who died from Covid-19 in Afghanistan were hospitalized people,” Alokozai said of 1,409 deaths in Afghanistan.
Afghanistan reports nearly 40,000 cases, but experts say the number could be much higher. People often avoid going to hospitals, both public and private, for fear that overcrowding and lack of sanitation will only make them more ill.
In the early months of an outbreak, only a handful of facilities in each province had the capacity to properly diagnose the disease. By mid-June, the Ministry of Health allowed all private establishments to purchase Covid-19 test kits. This is seen as a way of relieving pressure on the public hospital, where there are only 3,500 hospital beds for Covid-19 patients in a country of 37 million people.
Last month, Chief Inspector Ghizaal Haress said there were 372 ventilators nationwide and that in many provinces, hospital staff had not received any training in the skills. The same month, the Ministry of Health published a survey of 9,500 people, indicating that up to 10 million people may have contracted and cured from CoV.
Lack of reliance on help in a country known for its poor health infrastructure after more than 20 years of war means Afghan citizens are forced to access Alokozai, whom health officials say like a snake-head seller.
In June, the Ministry of Health attempted to arrest Alokozai after a state laboratory tested the Covid-19 cure solution he sold was a mixture of opium, papaverin, codeine, morphine and some herbs. carpentry.
In a press conference, Acting Health Minister Ahmad Jawad Osmani said that Alokozai’s so-called “treatments” were just a combination of local drugs and its use led to an increase in addiction rates in the country. The country has more than three million drug addicts.
Masooma Jafari, deputy spokesperson for the Ministry of Health, said the ministry completely rejected Alokozai’s claims.
“There is currently no cure for Covid-19 and the mixture he sells cannot prevent the disease,” Jafari said, urging the security authorities to arrest Alokozai and ensure he does not continue to distribute the compound.
Alokozai is living in Kabul, has yet to be arrested. The mix he made is still distributed free of charge in the capital.
“I have not committed any crime. I am happy if they come arrest, give it a try,” said Alokozai.
He urged the authorities to check on those who have been treated to see if they are still ill.
“I’m not trying to do anything great, I just want to make Afghanistan a better place,” he said.
Alokozai, 62, admits she hasn’t attended any school yet but has been practicing for more than 40 years. He also claims to have developed treatments for all diseases, from the flu to HIV and cancers. Despite doubts about his treatment, many people trust Alokozai.
In May, when the Ministry of Health ordered the cessation of all Alokozai’s Covid-19 treatment, hundreds of people protested for hours, blocking a major road outside the hospital in Kabul.
Alokozai said that it was inspired by the compound that cures Covid-19 symptoms such as flu, throat infection, gastrointestinal disease, anorexia, insomnia, from Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
“Like all my other treatments, it came when I was in a semi-conscious state. They came to me like an inspirational poem,” he said.
This statement shows difficulties in a country like Afghanistan where the health care system is in short supply. The World Bank estimates that only for every 10,000 people