Benefits of Moringa Oleifera Leaves Supplement for HIV/AIDS Sufferers Investigated
Moringa oleifera may have the potential to improve the immune status and quality of life of people living with HIV and AIDS (PLHIV) in low-income countries, according to a doctoral study.
The research was completed by Dr Aishatu Gambo who graduated with a Doctor of Philosophy in Public Health through UKZN. Gambo obtained both her undergraduate Pharmacy degree and her MPharm degree at the Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria.
She is originally from Nigeria where there is a high prevalence of HIV and malnutrition.
Gambo says having worked as a hospital and community pharmacist for 18 years, she’s always been interested and involved in helping find ways to alleviate the challenges of vulnerable people and improve their health outcomes.
Her research was not all plain sailing. ‘I conducted an interventional clinical trial that came with a lot of financial and ethical implications,’ she said. ‘The death of my first supervisor was a major challenge as it was upsetting and caused a lot of uncertainty about completing my study. But luckily with the expertise of my new supervisor, patience, hard work and perseverance it all worked out.’
Gambo says her research established that moringa oleifera could improve the immune status and quality of life of PLHIV in low-income countries. She hopes to see patients benefitting from this discovery.
Gambo enjoyed her time at UKZN. ‘My supervisor was vastly experienced and very understanding while UKZN staff were generally very friendly. I also loved the scenery around Durban.’
She is currently building a career path in public health nutrition and hopes to get involved in international clinical trials to gain global experience.
Words: Mandisa Shozi