Producers and consumers of traditional medicine say the relevance of indigenous medicines should not be downplayed in the fight against the novel coronavirus.
They say the popularity of traditional medicines such as artemisia is steadily increasing, especially in rural areas.
This old age African herb has been a trusted remedy for coughs and flu.
Recently, Madagascar has developed a concoction of Artemisia, which it claims to be a cure for COVID-19, though it is not scientifically proven.
This is despite warnings by the World Health Organisation (WHO) against the use of untested medicines which have been touted as cures for Covid-19.
In the video below, Director of the African Centre for Disease Control and Prevention Dr John Nkengasong says African countries are looking into the efficacy regarding organic remedies to combat COVID-19:
Producers, consumers swear by artemisia
Some residents in the rural areas of the North West province say their belief in artemisia will not be determined by any scientific proof.
They believe the herb can be an effective remedy for coronavirus if given a chance.
Kagiso Legobe, who produces the Artemisia herb and sells it to the public, says the herb can be used to boost the immune system as well.
“I think it can be used obviously as a measure of prevention, but at the same time as a treatment because obviously people who are bound to be affected are the ones who are either sick with something or have a low immune system. So drinking that while in the process of recovering is very important because it will keep their immune system strong,” says Legobe.
Those who have used it believe the herb can be an effective remedy for coronavirus if given a chance.
“This medicine of lengana is really helping for coronavirus because if you drink it, it can reduce it from your system,” says one consumer.
Another consumer says: “I believe this medicine is going to help us a lot in terms of flu and even it can help in terms of the corona that we are facing.”
North West Health MEC Madoda Sambatha says while people are allowed to practice their beliefs, this must be done within official health guidelines.
Traditional healers decry government disinterest
Traditional healers in the province say government has shown little interest in their contribution towards fighting COVID-19.
Chairperson of North West Traditional Health Practitioners Kenneth Mogweng says, “We are willing to help the government, but how can we help someone who is not recognising you on a very high note. We appeal to the government especially the Department of Health to work hand in hand with us so that together we stand. We have medicine here.”
Be that as it may, those exhibiting corona virus symptoms are advised to contact their nearest health facility.
In the video below, traditional healers ask for cooperation from government: