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Kenyans beware, doctored video falsely claims miracle cure for diabetes

IN SHORT: A video circulating online claims that taking “two capsules a day” for two weeks will cure diabetes. But there is no cure for the disease and the video is AI-generated.

A viral video that appears to be from a popular Kenyan TV station claims that a miracle cure for diabetes exists.

The video begins with a scene of a group of people, many wearing white coats and carrying placards, protesting along a city street. It features the logo of Kenya’s Citizen TV and the headline: “Diabetes mellitus - risk of disability.”

The video then cuts to Yvonne Okwara, a newsreader for Citizen TV, reporting: “All the doctors were shocked. The patient was dying, and this medicine was able to get him back on his feet. It turned out that the capsules worked, the blood sugar levels dropped, and the organs recovered. The patient remembered the doctor's words and did not regret that he had bought this remedy. He will tell us more about it himself.”

The video then cuts to a close-up of a man lying on a hospital bed, with a large bandage on his head. 

He says: “I was suffering from diabetes, and doctors could not help me. It turned out to be a conspiracy, and the pharmacy mafia was trying to make money off me. In fact, the treatment of diabetes is very simple. Just two capsules a day for a week completely removes symptoms, and in two weeks, your organs regenerate from within and will be completely healthy. Read more at the link below the video.”

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. There is currently no known cure for diabetes.

The video has been viewed more than 110,000 times. But is it a Citizen TV report on a major medical breakthrough, as it claims? We checked.

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Different clips combined

Upon closer inspection, it’s clear that the video is made up of footage from three separate stories, which have been combined to create a misleading narrative. 

In the first segment, which shows health workers demonstrating, the Milimani law court building can be seen in the background. The building is located near the headquarters of Kenya’s ministry of health in the capital, Nairobi. It's clear that this footage is from one of the many doctors’ strikes that took place in Kenya in 2024.

A reverse image search of the footage from the second segment featuring Okwara shows that it was taken from a different broadcast. In the original video, Okwara was reporting on a scandal surrounding the government's sale of fake fertiliser, not a medical breakthrough in diabetes treatment. 

The third segment, showing a man on a hospital bed, is also misleading. He was a victim of the May 2024 floods in Kenya and survived a mudslide in the Mai Mahiu area. 

In the second and third segments, the audio has been manufactured by voice cloning. This can be done using artificial intelligence (AI) tools. It’s noticeable that the video audio doesn’t match the movements of the speakers’ lips. 

Other clues

In addition, the video contains exaggerated claims about a simple miracle cure that “shocked doctors”, conspiracy theories about a “pharmacy mafia”, and an unusual call to action from the patient directing viewers to a link in the description. These are red flags.

The video is an elaborate piece of disinformation that uses edited footage, AI-generated voices and misleading context to present a false narrative. It appears to be designed to promote and sell an alleged drug by making false claims.

Africa Check has debunked similar dangerous health claims in the past such as here and here.

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