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No, renowned UK surgeon did not recommended drug to clean blood vessels

A story shared in Kenya on Facebook in December 2020 claims that a prominent surgeon has recommended the drug HeartKeep for the “safe cleaning” of blood vessels as a way of treating conditions such as hypertension. 

The story is structured as a wide-ranging interview with “the head of the department of surgery of the Imperial College of Kenya, Professor of Surgical sciences George Hanna”.

Hanna, it adds, “has more than 12,700 open-brain surgeries on his account. His youngest patient was only 2 days old.”

In the supposed interview Hanna recommends HeartKeep, an “innovative drug”, for the “safe cleaning” of vessels and to combat hypertension, or high blood pressure. The drug supposedly revitalises while extending one’s life by 12 to 17 years. 

The drug supposedly protects against “heart disease, heart attack, stroke, thrombosis and atherosclerosis”. 

People interested in using the drug, which is available at half price for KSh4,320, are told to fill in a form with their name and contacts and wait for feedback as stocks of the drug are supposedly low.

The story attracted thousands of views on Facebook, but also triggered the platform’s fact-checking system to flag it as possibly false. We looked into its veracity.

‘This is not me’

One of the first red flags is the reference to an “Imperial College of Kenya”. There isn’t such an institution in the East African country.

The story also claims the drug “has passed clinical trials in Japan and Israel, but also separately in Kenya, at the Institute of Cardiology, which also confirmed its effectiveness”. Again, such an institute does not exist in Kenya.

An online search shows that there is a Prof George Hanna. He is the head of the department of surgery and cancer at the faculty of medicine at the Imperial College in London, UK.

A reverse image search of the photo supposedly of Hanna used in the article shows that is instead of a prominent Russian economist, Sergei Guriev and has been used in news reports about the expert.

Guriev is a former chief economist of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development.

We could not find any other evidence that Hanna gave this interview, and it is improbable that he would be promoting a specific drug in public.

We asked Hanna if he gave such an interview. “This is not me,” he said.

His office also confirmed that the picture in the “interview” was not of Hanna, and that he has never performed brain surgery. He specialises in gastric and oesophageal cancer. – Africa Check


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