Prof Maduike Ezeibe's SMAMS/


Sampson Iroabuchi Onwuka

I first heard the saying ‘Death is a way of life’ from an uncle, Dr. O.U Oji in his clinical analysis of life as a way of dying in many HIV cases he handled or failed to handle in Abia State, and I wonder what his reaction are when he learnt of the new drug SMAMS (synthetic medical aluminium magnesium silicate) produced by Prof. Maduike Ezeibe. In passing reaction to the saying by Dr. O.U Oji, we can conjure up the saying that life is an art of dying which for patients with HIV/AIDS, it is slow in its decrepitude. For HIV patient who I observed first hand, they are like the rest of us slowly decaying – unaware of it's power suck life out of victim until they are finally confined to the bed post of a remote New York clinic with nothing to cheer them up but others around them and the ‘Clean sheet’ from the caregiver. There are doctors who tell their stories on HIV and AIDS patients in vivid and disappearing dispatch and in so doing realign the urgency for a cure for HIV, there are those relive the experience by petitioning the Government to continue their support for HIV patients especially those who have no Insurance and no family. But there are others who pray that a new line of drug therapy may lenghten the 'measure of (their) days' and are so hoping that there is in fact miracle, that it is impossible to fathom their distraught when they relapse from new drug therapy and the virus returns are moments of fleeting hope. 

It is important to mention that Professor Isaac Adewole, reaction to Professor Maduike
Ezeibe’s AMS (MSAMS), that "at the National Health Research Committees level, there is no evidence that this researcher sought and obtained ethical approval.”, is a position that needs not to be second guessed, but it seems that what he meant to suggest is that there no institution backing the direct use and production of the AMS meeting the clinical phase – saving his institution Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umuahia, a claim that is partly useful and worrisome at the same time. Could it be argued that Prof. Adewole was convinced that AMS was a separate cocktail engineered by these Nigerians for the needy HIV population?, or was Prof. Isaac Adewole not told about the drug agent as opposed to regularly used therapy before it was manufactured? The central issue for research and development (R&D) for the Nigerian AMS and Federal Ministry is whether there is anything done at this point in Nigeria to get this product (SMAMS) in the hands of those who need it, and if something is done about it, when do hear from Prof. Adewole and the Health Ministry? Secondly, is there perhaps, a one day evidence that the synthetic medical AMS has satisfied its testing standards and perhaps its mission, or did it fail like over 2, 000 drugs out there which briefly provided hope for the patients only to collapse in the end. It is not literature to summon the fears that patients are usually distraught when they relapsed after trying a new drug, but in this Nigeria case, there is need to ascertain the clinical efficacy of SMAMS.

I, for one, will not have you misled that nothing is going on with the world of HIV that can thaw the expectation of new miracle, there are recent development in this field that has given hope on HIV, through (1) stem cells (bone marrow transplant, peculiar with natural occurring cases of ADA, SCID, etc., but seem to have worked for (a) the Berlin patient >Timothy Ray Brown – that is if at all he was HIV positive from the beginning or just a case of immune deficiency, including (b) the Boston duo which was stem cell base and seem to relapse after weening from anti-retroviral therapy,  (c) the two Australian men who are said to be showing no signs of HIV after undergoing bone marrow transplant for cancer and are also said to remain still on anti-retroviral therapy (d) the relapsed Minnesota case of a young would teenager involving stem cell replacement and treatment similar to Timothy Ray Brown ), (2) gene editing involving the removal of human T-lymphoid and replacing it, a process that was reported successful in 2016 and nothing more ever since, (3) Visconti Study involving ‘early treatment’ with drug therapy, involving ‘early detection of the HIV virus and early treatment of the patient’ in a way similar to Visconti Study (a) the 51 year old Argentinian who is said to have become HIV negative by taking cocktail on time, (b) the South African Child believed to have remained free of HIV after 40 week therapy (the 10 months therapy) designed for child (c) the Mississippi baby (miracle baby) were methods similar to Visconti were used in treating the child after early detection. None of these can be said to have artificially proved a cure for HIV yet, but it seems that they said to be ‘Functionally Cured’ similar to what someone also categorized as ‘Long term functional remissions’ (Post-treatment controllers)…..

I want to mention that the issue of the ‘needy HIV population’ of the world is not a small discussion, at least for some of us who worked Hospice cases in New York, who worked in advanced HIV and AIDS cases as both Social Workers and Medical Assistants through the early college years in New York still retain vivid memories of the wasting sickness and when you have to share your information from the patients with CRI, community research initiative – it was Asians running around trying to get the latest expat on patients who decided to ‘interrupt’ their HIV medication and try new drugs. The outbreak on AIDS in New York was one of the thorough going incident in New York in the 90’s when we appeared the scene. The HIV population is usually animated on the announcement of any new drugs such as AZT which was first used on animals but modified by David Ho and company for public consumption. The news of vaccines for HIV/AIDS regularly made it to our AIDS patients, many of them in residential houses and homes similar to retirement communities where the best of us, in the 90’s also worked. It was amazing then, perhaps now, how many men – especially couples who were AIDS advanced, and nobody wanted to come close to these people due to the physical wasting condition that made them lean like wood until  AZT. It is amazing how many of these individuals directly volunteered as Guinea pig for any new drug development because there is ‘no time left’ - not the best book out there on HIV patients but remain a flashback on the complications associated with the onset of AIDS which remained for years an unresolved enigma.

In this page, I am making a trip to the past in the context of how we now receive these claims of Prof. Maduike Ezeibe’s medical synthetic AMS, a horizontal argument for thanksgiving within the HIV medical compass, 'the bus stops here', and hoping to perhaps channel the healing spirit of care and undying faith of the triumph over the virus (Final Chapters) - to the land clinical trials which is the natural consequence of medical invention and to ‘Love’ which for Elton John as for HIV is the ‘Only Cure’. The accounts of HIV patients – like Hospice cases, are not featured everywhere in Medical literature but there are those I may recommend for those already in the profession or for others seeking a glimpse into the teeth clutching world of HIV/AIDS, and some of these include, ‘Death Foretold’ Nicholas Christakis (opete, practioner level), ‘Surviving the Fall’ Peter Selwyn, (has elements of psychology enthrapy), ‘My Own Country’ Abraham Verghese (affectionate, orderly), ‘And the Band Played On’ > classic Randy Shilts, (rapier than most books of HIV, thorough going within the throes of ) ‘The Measure of Our Days’ Jerome Groopman, (bewitching, analytic), ‘The River’ Edward Hooper (?), to an extent I will recommend, ‘The Least of these, By Brethren’ Daniel Baxter, (engrossing), or to ‘curl’ in life at the hospital and unrelated ‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ 'Christ Stopped at Eboli", you can throw in a half star, 'Our Kind of Folks' Uzodinma Iweala…..

I am convinced that with time, the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Ministerial directly responsible for clinical trials drugs in Nigeria – Federal Ministry of Health, Nigeria National Health Research Ethics Committee, National Agency for the Control of Aids (NACA), Nigeria Center for Disease Control, Federal Ministry of Health, Nigerian FDA, etc., will pave the way for Prof. Maduike Ezeibe’s ‘medicinal synthetic’ Aluminum Magnesium Silicate - AMS drug therapy/agent, or MSAMS. The last position by some of the State Health and Federal appointees is that the drug MSAMS is under investigation and actions are pending further development from those in-charge of the due process. It is necessary that efforts are improved in managing the cases of HIV in Nigeria, or elsewhere, part of the reason is that the world is still struggling with the cure of HIV/AIDS in spite of the many drugs and therapies released every other day by major drug companies.