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Did Citizen TV report that a Kenyan doctor has ‘revealed’ diabetes cure? No, video is fake

IN SHORT: A video circulating on social media claims that a Kenyan doctor has discovered a diabetes cure that has been hidden by pharmacists for 20 years. But this should be ignored – the video is a fake, with altered text and voice.

A video circulating on social media in Kenya shows what appears to be a recording of a Citizen TV live broadcast, presented by popular anchor Trevor Ombija

False Citizen TV Meta

The video shows a banner saying that a cure for diabetes has been “revealed”.

The text above the video reads: “Diabetics are protesting. A doctor from Kenya has revealed a cure for diabetes that pharmacists have been hiding for 20 years.” 

Text below the video says: “Pharmacies are forced to hide information about how the truth became known.” 

The audio of the video repeats this and attributes the discovery to a “Dr Samuel Mucheru”. It goes on to claim that the “cure” has “ already saved 200,000 people in Kenya from diabetes once and for all in the last month alone”. 

It also warns diabetics that the drug is "extremely limited".

The video has been viewed over 75,000 times. But is the claim true?

No cure for diabetes

Diabetes is a long-term condition in which blood glucose (or sugar) levels rise because the body has trouble using insulin or producing enough insulin. Insulin is a hormone that helps to control blood glucose.

Type 1 diabetes is less common and is thought to be caused by an autoimmune reaction. Type 2 diabetes is more common and it can be prevented or delayed by introducing healthy lifestyle changes, such as eating a healthy diet and exercise. Obesity is considered a risk factor for type 2 diabetes. 

In some cases type 2 diabetes can go into remission. This means that the need for medication and the severity of symptoms may decrease or even disappear. But there is currently no known cure for diabetes.

Has a Kenyan doctor discovered a cure for diabetes?

A reverse image search reveals that the video clip is from a July 2023 Citizen TV broadcast, when thousands of people took part in a diabetes walk sponsored by Citizen Digital, the broadcaster’s online unit.

But the text in the video has been altered and Ombija's voice in the video has also been replaced with fake audio. The voice is clearly not his. It sounds unnatural and similar to audio produced by text-to-speech software.

The video also contains red flags associated with scams, such as emphasising scarcity by claiming that the amount of medicine is extremely limited, and suggesting a conspiracy by alleging that pharmacies have been hiding information about the cure for 20 years.

There is a diabetologist called Dr Samuel Mucheru associated with the Merck Foundation, but we found no reliable information about him or anyone else finding a cure for diabetes. 

If such a cure had been developed, the information would be widely disseminated by reliable medical, media, governmental and non-governmental institutions. Furthermore, the process of developing such cures is not sudden, but gradual, with various stages of testing and approval.

The claim that Citizen TV reported on a diabetes cure found by a Kenyan doctor is false. 

 

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