Unmasking Facebook users’ diabetes cure as a scam

16 Min Read

The battle against diabetes– a relentless adversary undermining the body’s energy metabolism– has reached a fever pitch, with millions of individuals showing desperation for a cure.

In the intricate web of online platforms, notably Facebook, where hope sometimes meets exploitation, a disturbing trend emerges: The proliferation of supposed diabetes cures. 

Yet, behind these promises lies a web of deceit and danger as we delve into the murky world of fraudulent remedies peddled to unsuspecting individuals.

Diabetes is a chronic health condition that impairs how the body turns blood sugar into energy, causing glucose to accumulate in the blood (hyperglycemia). Over time, a high level of glucose in the bloodstream can damage tissues and organs, including the nerves, the heart, the kidneys, and the eyes, resulting in the common complications of diabetes.

The prevalence of diabetes has surged over the past three decades, with significant impacts on individuals and healthcare systems.

According to recent estimates, approximately 37 million people in the U.S. and over 400 million globally are living with diabetes, posing a substantial public health challenge. In Nigeria, the International Diabetes Federation (IDF) reports that 3.6 million individuals are affected by the disease.

The IDF’s findings also reveal a concerning trend in the cost of diabetes treatment. From an average expenditure of N60,000 per person in 2011, the expense has climbed to N300,000 in 2021. Projections suggest that treatment costs could surpass N500,000 by 2030 and exceed N1.0 million by 2045.

As the diabetic population grows, there’s a corresponding increase in the pursuit of effective treatments and cures. This quest often leads individuals to seek remedies from questionable sources, including online platforms like Facebook, where advertisements for supposed diabetes cures proliferate.

A Facebook group named “Diabetes Cure without Medicine” has become a platform for numerous drug vendors who claim to offer instant cures for diabetes. The name of the group caught DUBAWA’s attention—a name that begs the question: How will Diabetes be cured without medicine?

With a substantial following of approximately 65,000 members, the page has become a hub for marketers promoting various remedies for the condition. Among them is Mutalemwa Muyungi, who boldly asserts that diabetes is curable.

Muyungi’s claim has attracted considerable attention, with several group members commenting on his posts expressing interest in obtaining the purported remedy for diabetes.

DUBAWA initiated a conversation with Muyungi to verify the authenticity of these claims and uncover potential cures for diabetes.

During the conversation with DUBAWA, Mutalemwa Muyungi, purportedly from Tanzania and affiliated with BF SUMA pharmaceutical, claimed that diabetes is curable with biological medicines. Muyungi identified the drugs NMN DUO RELEASE, PURE & BROKEN GANODERMA SPORES, ZAMINACAL PLUS, and MICRO 2 CYCLE as potential cures for diabetes. He stated that each dosage costs $1000 and claimed that any of the listed drugs could cure diabetes within three months.

After negotiations, Muyungi agreed to lower the price to $500. He dropped two account details in which the money will be paid. When asked by DUBAWA to provide testimonials from individuals whom the drugs had cured, Muyungi declined, citing privacy concerns.

However, he assured DUBAWA that they would become ambassadors for the products upon being cured. When pressed to provide evidence of individuals who had become ambassadors after being cured, Muyungi again declined, citing privacy concerns.

The conversation ended when Muyungi refused to provide DUBAWA with testimonies of people who had been cured or had become ambassadors due to using the products.


DUBAWA mailed the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to verify the status of the drugs recommended by Mutalemwa Muyungi. 

The Food and Drug Administration is responsible for protecting public health by ensuring the safety, efficacy, and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, and medical devices and the safety of the food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.

The Division of Drug Information within the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research responded to DUBAWA’s inquiry. 

According to the FDA’s response, the drugs in question are not approved drug products but rather classified as dietary supplements.

The response partially reads, “Thank you for writing the Division of Drug Information in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.

“FDA-approved drug products and labelling can be found at Drugs@FDA. These are not approved drug products. It appears they are marketing these as dietary supplements.”

Upon further investigation, DUBAWA checked the link provided by the FDA to verify the status of the drugs. Surprisingly, none of the drugs prescribed by Mutalemwa Muyungi were found on the website. Contrary to Mutalemwa Muyungi’s claims that the products are drugs, the FDA says that they are not approved.

BF SUMA Pharmaceuticals

Mutalemwa Muyungi claims to work with BF SUMA, a company known for manufacturing dietary supplements and functional beverages. A search on BF SUMA reveals its focus on producing products in these categories.

The FDA regulates dietary supplements as food, not as drugs. However, many dietary supplements contain ingredients that have strong biological effects, which may conflict with a medicine you are taking or a medical condition you may have.

Dietary supplements are not reviewed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for safety and effectiveness.

More Groups

Multiple Facebook groups, including “Diabetes Treatment”“Dr Oz Diabetes Cure,” and Cure Diabetes, have emerged as platforms where drug vendors claim to offer instant cures for diabetes. 

Among these groups is “Dr Oz Diabetes Cure, which has faced criticism from Facebook users who accuse the group of fraudulent activities and the ineffectiveness of the drugs being promoted.

Several Facebook users have publicly called out “Dr Oz Diabetes Cure,” urging for action against the page due to allegations of fraud and scam.

Facebook user Tom Bauer wrote, “I keep reporting all the Facebook fraud, like Dr Oz’s miracle diabetes cure, but Facebook does nothing. It sounds like a lawsuit in the making.”

Another user,Norma Pursiful Myers, called on Facebook to prevail and stop the scammers. He wrote, “I am so sick of popup ads.  Everybody from Dr. Oz to Kelly Clarkson, Reba McIntyre, Tim McGraw, Dr Ben Carson, and the list goes on and on, has invented CBD gummies to lose weight and cure dementia, diabetes and whatever ailment you have.  Enough is enough.  Someone, please do something to stop these scammers.  If there is a real product out there, you would never find it because of all the scammers.”

Upon further investigation, it was discovered that Mutalemwa Muyungi, the contact person contacted by DUBAWA, is associated with two of these groups, including “Dr Oz Diabetes Cure,” which is currently under scrutiny by some Facebook users for its practices.

DUBAWA’s investigation into purported diabetes cure products led to the discovery of another group called Dr Balogun Herbal Home. Upon contacting Dr Balogun via WhatsApp, DUBAWA was greeted with, “You are welcome to Dr BALOGUN, herbal solution home, please tell me what I can do for you .”

He claimed his herbal product could cure diabetes permanently within 7-31 days after intake, at a cost of N30,500.

Dr Balogun provided a certificate attesting to his expertise as a certified herbal medicine seller. 

A screenshot of the certificate presented by Dr Balogun.

Upon closer examination, DUBAWA observed several red flags.

  • Grammatical and spelling errors: The certificate spots grammatical and spelling errors (with words like “medicine” and “inherited”), which are typical of fake and fabricated documents.
  • Wrong reference/attribution: The certificate claimed that Dr. Balogun was promoted to the “National Executive Committee” in Blantyre, Nigeria—a place that does not exist in Nigeria but in Malawi.
  • Manipulated design: A reverse image search revealed that the certificate was manipulated and had been in circulation since 2018 under a different name, Dr Chala.
  • Further revelations: Dr Balogun’s company was missing from Nigeria’s Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) portal, the national database for registered companies. He also failed to provide the registration number approved for his product by the National Agency for Food and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Nigeria’s regulatory institution, discontinuing the conversation. We also discovered that the ‘doctor’ was a member of the Facebook Group “Diabetes Cure Without Medicine,” just like Mutalemwa Muyungi, whom we initially contacted.
A collage of DUBAWA’s chat with Dr Balogun.

Nigerian and U.S drug control agencies warn against scammers

Products claiming to prevent, treat, or cure diabetes are prevalent on the internet, constituting a significant health scam. While diabetes medications undergo rigorous clinical trials to ensure safety and efficacy, many over-the-counter (OTC) remedies marketed as diabetes treatments are unregulated supplements lacking sufficient evidence of effectiveness.

In 2019, NAFDAC issued a directive requiring a disclaimer on all dietary supplements to regulate the dietary supplements industry and ensure consumer safety. The disclaimer must explicitly state that the product is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.

Also, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have identified several red flags to help consumers identify potential health scams. The FDA advises against using such products due to the associated health risks.

For instance, some of the posts on Facebook encouraged the patients to abandon medication by providing testimonies of people who purportedly stopped their medication after using the product for a few weeks.

One of the patients who claimed to have used the medicine wrote, Allen Benton, “Thanks to Dr Balogun for curing me and my husband of diabetes, and herpes virus, we are suffering from this illness for the past few years now and after taking Dr Balogun’s herbal medicine we confirm the cure thanks to Dr Balogun, may God continue to bless you, sir.”

Diabetes can result in serious complications, including neurological problems, amputation, kidney disease, blindness, and even death. As the FDA explains:

“Products that promise an easy fix might be alluring, but consumers are gambling with their health. In general, diabetes is a chronic disease, but it is manageable. And people can lower their risk for developing complications by following treatments prescribed by health care professionals, carefully monitoring blood sugar levels, and sticking to an appropriate diet and exercise program.”

‘In my 21 years of treating Diabetes, no one has told me there’s a cure’ – Diabetes patient

Mr Anthony Adebusuyi, a retired civil servant managing diabetes since 2003, revealed that medical professionals had never informed him that it has a cure.

Having battled with diabetes for 21 years, Mr Adebusuyi emphasised the importance of adhering to prescriptions provided by doctors, 

“I take my doctor’s prescriptions religiously. The only thing I was told is that if one does not treat it effectively according to a doctor’s prescription, there might be side effects. All these people are saying it has a cure on Facebook— I don’t know where they got their information from. In the last 21 years of treating it, I have never heard of such.”

Experts Speak

A consultant physician and endocrinologist, Dr Adenike Enikuomehin, revealed no known cure for diabetes. She noted that such claims for a cure, as seen on social media, were often a means to extort unsuspecting public members.

Dr. Enikuomehin confirmed the prevalence of such claims on Facebook, recounting an instance where a patient spent ₦300,000 on a purported diabetes cure that ultimately proved ineffective. She said although some sellers may label their products as “natural,” any substance subjected to processing or mixing becomes a chemical.

“Even when you take agbo [herbal concoction], it is no longer natural. It is chemical too because you have to cook it and make it for some time; the only thing is that you don’t know the quantity that you are going to use, and you think you did not research it to see the quantity to take,” she said. “As at present [and] to my knowledge… they’ve not gotten any cure for diabetes. You just have to manage it. So that we won’t be having the mortality rate we have because of diabetes. There’s no cure for diabetes.”

A medical expert at the Federal Medical Center (FMC) in Owo, Ondo State, Dr Lekan Adetula, described diabetes as a chronic condition with no known cure but could only be effectively managed.

“There’s no cure for it in any part of the world, not only in Nigeria alone. Some of these trade-medical people are extorting people and making them stop their routine medications. It is a very terrible situation,” he said. “We manage diabetes. It is a hormonal issue. We have different types of diabetes. We have type one diabetes and type two diabetes; we have secondary diabetes, and we have gestational diabetes. Their management is different. There is no cure for diabetes at the moment, but it can be managed, and carriers can live a good life.”

The researcher produced this fact-check per the DUBAWA 2024 Kwame KariKari Fellowship, in partnership with Crest 91.1FM, Ibadan and News Verifier Africa, to facilitate the ethos of “truth” in journalism and enhance media literacy in the country.

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