Sunday, July 24, 2011

Philippines warns public against gecko medicine

A house lizard.

MANILA, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / July 24, 2011) – The Philippine Health Ministry has warned the public against reports that eating geckos could cure a variety of diseases from asthma to Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome or AIDS.

It said many Internet websites have run stories and alleged reports of therapeutic cure to a wide variety of sickness and diseases, but none of these reports are true.

“The use of geckos as cure, which is unproven and have no scientific basis, could be dangerous because patients might not seek the proper treatment for their diseases like asthma which could become more serious and later require hospitalization and other more complicated as well as more expensive treatment. Further, this is likely to aggravate their overall health and put them at greater risk,” the Department of Health (DOH) warned.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources earlier warned of severe penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment to any person catching or selling lizards after websites promised millions of pesos for each geckos.

The DOH said there are many medications for different diseases and eating geckos or any of their organs are not among those.

“The folkloric practice of using geckos as cure for AIDS and asthma persists to this day and is of serious concern to the Department of Health. There is no basis that this practice cures ailments like AIDS or brings relief from symptoms of asthma. Thus, we do not recommend it as cure for any ailment,” the DOH said.

The Human Immunodeficiency Virus or HIV causes AIDS.

“For diseases like asthma, there are now very effective treatments that are easily available and at affordable prices that can provide relief from asthma. With regular treatment, asthmatics can successfully control asthmatic symptoms and live a comfortable, healthy life. For patients with HIV, there are now available antiviral medications that can control the progress of the disease,” the DOH further said. (Mindanao Examiner)

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