The Ministry of Health has begun investigating the allegations that Dr. Mala Ali Mahmood, an Iraqi-born physician who makes claims to be able to heal people with hearing and vision impairments, "treated" a number of patients in the Maldives.
Aminath Shathufa, senior executive director of the Health Ministry, said that authorities have opened an inquiry to determine the veracity of the rumours. The investigation was initiated after he left the country.
Mala Ali, according to Shathufa, travelled to the Maldives on a tourist visa. She pointed out that tourists are not permitted to offer medical services without the appropriate permits and acquiring the necessary paperwork.
The self-proclaimed faith healer says he can heal deaf individuals. He recites Quran verses and taps certain points on the throat, ears and the mouth of his "patients" as part of his treatment process. He does not charge anyone for his services.
However, according to those who underwent his treatment process, their conditions did not change. They all reported noticing some differences first, but the changes they felt weaned off.
Three children from Alifu Dhaalu atoll Dhidhoo were also taken to him. One of the parents of these children said she learned about Mala Ali's presence in Maldives from a distant relative. She said he had seen his videos before and wanted to consult him in hopes of her son getting better.
During the treatment with Mala Ali, the six-year-old boy was able to hear for 10–15 minutes, but not after. His mother said it had worked at first because she observed him getting startled by loud noises; however, by nightfall, his condition reverted back.
He has been accused by various countries of fraudulently claiming to treat people in this way. He has previously been arrested in Saudi Arabia as well.
Mala Ali reportedly landed in the Maldives on January 29 according to updates on his Facebook page. Pictures of him treating Maldivians, including children, and receiving gifts for "healing" various illnesses can be found on his page.