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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Gov’t agrees to prosecute Dr Mbowe

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By Omar Bah

The government has accepted the TRRC’s recommendation to prosecute Dr. Tamsir Mbowe over his involvement in former president Jammeh’s HIV/Aids treatment programme. Dr Mbowe is accused of endorsing and taking part in Jammeh’s bogus treatment causing loss of life.

According to the TRRC, as a medical practitioner, Dr Mbowe failed in his duty to uphold the standards and ethics prerequisite in his profession.

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The government also accepted to prosecute Jammeh and Dr Mbowe for negligence causing deaths of PLHIV who took part in the programme and deprived of lifesaving treatment.

Equally, government also accepted to prosecute both Jammeh and Dr Mbowe for the inhumane and degrading treatment meted out on PLHIV that took part in the treatment programme and for admitting children into the PATP in violation of the provisions of the Children’s Act 2005 and the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The government also accepted the recommendation of the Commission to revoke Dr Mbowe’s practising licence indefinitely for failing to honour the medical code of conduct and for the role he played in the fake PATP but that matter, the government added, is referred to the Medical and Dental Council which is the relevant institution with the authority to take disciplinary measures against medical practitioners.

Murder charge

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The government however refused to commit itself on the commission’s recommendation to charge and prosecute Jammeh and Dr Mbowe with murder for intentionally and knowingly causing the death of People Living With HIV/AIDS (PLHIV), who were conscripted in the sham PATP and deprived of life-saving treatment.

In its explanatory note, the government said it takes note of the recommendation but is of the view that the evidence led before the commission was not sufficient enough to establish that Jammeh and Dr Mbowe had intended to cause the death of the patients.

“The availability of such direct evidence of intent will be crucial in sustaining a charge of murder. The Government directs the relevant authorities to conduct further investigation and for Jammeh and Dr Mbowe to be dealt with according to law based on the outcome of the investigations,” the government said.

The government also accepted the TRRC recommendation to ban one Ansumana Jammeh, not to be mistaken with the now deceased brother of the former president.

 This Ansumana Jammeh is found by the TRRC to have endangered the lives of patients by purporting to be curing them of HIV/AIDS despite knowing that he had no proof or scientific basis to rely on confirming the effectiveness of the treatment other than Yahya Jammeh’s directions.

Mariatou Jallow and Malick Njie

According to the TRRC, Dr. Mariatou Jallow, then Director of Medical Health Services, was also found by the Commission to have administered the bogus concoction to patients on at least two occasions – both under Jammeh’s direction. “Notwithstanding her part in Jammeh’s fraudulent and dangerous program, neither the participants nor the Commission adversely mentioned her as being part of the PATP or informed patients that they would be cured,” the TRRC said.

The commission also added that Dr Malick Njie, Director of Medical Health Services and Minister of Health at the time, during the early stages participated in this dubious programme under Jammeh’s directions but he was found not to have informed patients that they would be cured by Jammeh’s concoction.

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