Claim that cure for hypertension has been found resurfaces online

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Summary

A Facebook user with the name, Dr. Emily Johnson, has posted a video alongside a web link with a claim that hypertensive patients can now access cure by purchasing a natural drug remedy online which was recently developed by a Nigerian doctor and his team.

OUR VERDICT: The claim that a Nigerian doctor has found a cure for hypertension is FALSE; the footage is a deepfake video that prompts users to fraudulent website claiming to sell a curative medicine for the disease.

A Facebook user with the name, Dr. Emily Johnson, has posted a video alongside a web link with a claim that hypertensive patients can now access cure by purchasing a natural drug remedy online which was recently developed by a Nigerian doctor and his team.

The one-minute-long video has an Arise TV logo and features Arise TV journalist and presenter, Ojy Okpe.

An inscription on the audio-visual content states that hundreds of hypertension patients are now fighting for their lives as shown in the video, following the public release of the drug later identified in the accompanying web link as Normatone.

READ: Doctored video circulates that Nigerian doctor has found cure for high blood pressure

When transcribed, the audio of the footage read:

Hundreds of hypertension patients took to the streets today against pharmaceutical companies after the shocking announcement by Dr. Samuel Achilefu. He is the first person in the world to provide a cure for hypertension with a proven efficacy of 99%. Let’s take a look at this appeal.

High blood pressure is the most common cause of death in Africa, so we could’nt do nothing. I with a team of the best cardiologist in the country have developed a natural remedy that normalizes blood pressure in a couple of weeks and permanently stabilizes at 120/80 after the first course of treatment.

We want everyone to live a long life without health risks but pharmaceutical companies do not supply our remedy in pharmacies and carefully hide it because of their commercial greed but we have temporarily opened online sales for all those who want to return to a happy life. Follow the read more button to our website. Hurry before the pharmacy mafia deletes this.

The video alleged that one Dr. Samuel Achilefu and his teammates have produced a natural remedy that normalises high blood pressure in a couple of weeks and permanently normalises after the course of treatment.

It also had a sponsored link to the website. When clicked, the link led us to a blogpost showing an high blood pressure supplement, Normatone, that the alleged Dr. Achilefu talked about in the footage.

The video also has a caption that read thus:

You feel headache and fatigue Numbness of the limbs or ringing in the ears This may be caused by hardening of the arteries in the brain, which is a sign of a stroke! Urgently treat brain vessels!

The post as since garnered over 1,000 likes, more than 400 shares and over 152 comments.

CLAIM

Nigerian doctor finds cure for hypertension.

 

THE FINDINGS

Findings by The FactCheckHub show that the claim is FALSE, as a check on the drug indicates that it is an appetite enhancer and not a cure medication for hypertension as it is being touted on the Facebook post.

Source: World Health Organisation (WHO).

According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), hypertension, also known as high or raised blood pressure, is a condition in which the blood vessels have persistently raised pressure.

Blood is carried from the heart to all parts of the body in the vessels. Each time the heart beats, it pumps blood into the vessels. Blood pressure is created by the force of blood pushing against the walls of blood vessels (arteries) as it is pumped by the heart. The higher the pressure, the harder the heart has to pump.

Hypertension or high blood pressure occurs when the pressure in your blood vessels is too high (140/90 mmHg or higher). It is common but can be serious if not treated, says WHO. People with high blood pressure may not feel symptoms. The only way to know is to get your blood pressure checked.

Things that increase the risk of having high blood pressure, according to WHO,  include:

  • older age
  • genetics
  • being overweight or obese
  • not being physically active
  • high-salt diet
  • drinking too much alcohol
Source: World Health Organisation (WHO).

In verifying the claim, our fact-checker took a careful look at the footage. Her checks show that the audio didn’t sync well with the visual of the Arise TV journalist from the beginning of the clip till the end of her scene as the head and facial features appeared to be in a singular motion.

When examined, a section of the footage where the ‘doctor’ was introduced shows that both audio and visual didn’t synchronize too. The footage also has most elements of a deepfake video.

Once the link on the post was clicked, it takes users to a blog-post which shows an interview with a patient proclaiming the benefits of the drug with a picture of the medication.

A scroll at the end of the post showed wheelspin for individuals to spin the wheel for a discount. When this fact-checker clicked on the wheelspin, after spinning, it showed a price slash and an input for individuals to fill in their details to get the discount; this is a common feature of most phishing scams.

Screenshot of the Wheelspin on the blogpost.
Screenshot of the Wheelspin on the blogpost.

See the price slash showing the discount below:

Screenshot of the price slash and input for contact details
Screenshot of the price slash and input for contact details

When the web link was subjected to check using the ‘WHOIS domain tool,’ checks show that the website was registered in Iceland.

The blog was registered in Iceland, as seen in this WHOIS directory.
The blog was registered in Iceland, as seen in this WHOIS directory.

Further checks show that information about the website ownership has been hidden, even though it was registered via Namecheap, a US-based web hosting firm. Thus, making it difficult to reach out to the blogger directly to ascertain the source of the article on the cure for hypertension.

ALSO READ: 5 common types of phishing and how to prevent being a victim

Moreover, the American Medical Association (AMA) and National Kidney Foundation (NKF) have repeatedly said there is no cure yet for high blood pressure or hypertension.

It will be recalled that The FactCheckHub had previously fact-checked the claim of a cure for hypertension.

Also, Dr Muneerah Owolabi, a medical officer at the 063 Nigerian Air Force Hospital noted that essential hypertension cannot be cured, it can be controlled with medicine and a change in lifestyle.

 

THE VERDICT

The claim that a Nigerian doctor has found a cure for hypertension is FALSE; the footage is a deepfake video that prompts users to fraudulent website claiming to sell a curative medicine for the disease.

Fact-checker at The FactheckHub | [email protected]

Seasoned fact-checker and researcher Fatimah Quadri has written numerous fact-checks, explainers, and media literacy pieces for The FactCheckHub in an effort to combat information disorder. She can be reached at sunmibola_q on X or [email protected].

SOURCE: Dr Emily Johnson via Facebook.

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