Many Rwandans infected with HIV/AIDS are seeking herbal drugs in the remote plains of Sonjo near Loliondo in Arusha region of Tanzania.
According to reliable source who talked to The New Times on condition of anonymity, Thursday, the herbalist attracts tens of thousands of Rwandans seeking HIV treatment.
At Sonjo, the Tanzanian pastor-cum-medicineman, Ambilikile Masapila, prescribes a concoction of herbs said to be cure for many diseases including diabetes, TB, ulcers, cancer and HIV/AIDS.
One person who has visited the now famous location said she learnt of the medication from a Tanzanian friend she met in Dar-es-salaam a few months ago.
She noted that no one mentions of her long journey to meet the medicine man in Tanzania.
“Getting treatment in Tanzania is done discreetly... you travel without telling even your child. But funny enough, we met neighbours and friends upon arrival. We however, promise each other never to reveal our mission,” she said.
She added that even though the treatment dose is cheap, the transport costs incurred are extremely high.
The middle aged woman said that she is optimistic the herb would cure her chronic illness.
“The transport cost to Sonjo is over Rwf200.000, whereas the exclusive dose of the unique drug costs less than Rwf2.000. It is the large sums of money that puts off a lot of people willing to travel from Rwanda,” he said.
Another man who travelled to the Sonjo plains told this paper that he regrets why he wasted his money and effort.
He explained that he spent a lot of money hiring vehicles and fell seriously sick when he came back due to fatigue.
“You can see I am now under intense medical care...this is because I got tired after travelling so many kilometres in rural Tanzania. My money is gone and I don’t think the small cup of herbal medicine I took will cure me. It is all regrets,” he lamented.
Dr. Jean Claude Ndagijimana of Rwamagana Hospital, however, dismissed claims of Ambilikile Masapila wonder drug, saying there was nothing like a miraculous cure of HIV/AIDS.
He noted that such herbalists may only help to reconcile HIV positive people psychologically.