IN SHORT: A much-watched video posted on Facebook claims that a Nigerian doctor has found a miracle cure for hypertension. You would be well advised to steer clear of it – the video has been doctored and makes false claims.
A Nigerian doctor has “created” a drug that cures high blood pressure forever, or so a video posted on Facebook in November 2023 claims.
The video appears to be a news story by Channels Television, a popular Nigerian broadcaster, presented by one of its anchors, Kayode Okikiolu.
The caption at the bottom of the screen is headlined “Shocking Discovery”. According to the newsreader, the drug normalises blood pressure within three days.
He says: “In just one course of treatment your body will become completely healthy and you will forget about blood pressure problems forever.”
The video also shows an audience listening attentively to an unidentified man, presumably the doctor in question, who gives guarantees about the drug’s capabilities, including reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack to zero.
The video further claims that Nigerians are already trying the drug, and urges people to join the “campaign”. The video has already been viewed 33,000 times.
But is there such a miracle cure? We checked.
What is hypertension?
Also known as hypertension, high or raised blood pressure is a serious medical condition in which blood exerts too much pressure against the walls of the blood vessels. This means that the heart has to work harder to pump blood around the body.
Being hypertensive can increase the risk of heart, brain, kidney and other diseases, according to the World Health Organization. The global health agency estimates that more than one in four men and one in five women – more than one billion people – have the condition, which is a leading cause of premature death.
The WHO says the Africa region has the highest prevalence of hypertension, at 27%. Nearly half of adults, or 46%, are unaware that they have the condition. In Nigeria, an estimated 19.1 million adults between 30 and 79 have the condition, according to the agency’s latest data.
Clues video has been manipulated
A closer look at the video raises some red flags. For one thing, the newsreader's lip movements do not match the voice in the video. His lips also move in the same way throughout the video, which is unlikely given that words are pronounced differently. This suggests manipulation.
The video is also notably sparse on details about the cure or its inventor, including who he is.
The video also uses emotive language, such as the drug being a “shocking discovery”, and also urges people to join an unknown campaign that “ends today”. The use of urgency is a well-known tactic of misinformers.
Content like this video could cause people with serious health conditions to stop taking prescribed treatments, putting their lives at risk. They could also become victims of fraud and lose money.
Learn how to spot cheap fake and deepfake videos by reading our guide here.
Republish our content for free
For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false
A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?
Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.Publishers guide
Africa Check teams up with Facebook
Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.
The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.
You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.