Medics probe role of herbs in decline of Covid-19 cases

28May 2020
Getrude Mbago
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
Medics probe role of herbs in decline of Covid-19 cases

​​​​​​​EXPERTS at the Medical Association of Tanzania (MAT) are conducting a study to find out how the use of traditional remedies has contributed to the reduction of Covid-19 cases in the country.

​​​​​​​MAT President Dr Elisha Osati.

MAT President Dr Elisha Osati told journalists in Dar es Salaam yesterday that since the outbreak of Covid-19 in March, various herbal medicines have been used by patients to prevent and cure symptoms of Covid-19.

“Assessment conducted has indicated a significant decrease in the number of Covid-19 patients at different centres and hospitals,” said Dr Osati, noting that MAT will soon deliver a professional analysis on efficacy of various natural remedies.

Even those in need for ventilators are now in good condition, he asserted.

Dr Osati emphasized that the profession cannot ignore alternative medicines as many Tanzanians use herbs. Most patients suffering from coronavirus are using lemon and ginger which are rich in vitamin C to strengthen their body immune system, he elaborated.

Herbal medicines might have played a huge role in curing patients from the new virus, he stated, intoning that following advice and taking precautions as directed by health experts helped to cut numbers of infections.

“Tanzanians responded well to advice given by health experts, to wear face masks, wash hands regularly and observe social distancing. We believe this has also helped to fight the pandemic,” he stated.

People are no longer calling medical experts to seek advice, which indicates that the disease has been effectively battled, he said.

MAT similarly lauded President John Magufuli and his close associates in the cabinet for ably leading the country to fight the virus.

“We also commend the crucial role played by service providers in the health sector including doctors, nurses and midwives. They spent sleepless nights to ensure Tanzanians are healed from the deadly disease,” Dr Osati underlined, urging patients who are still at home to prudently seek medication in health facilities.

He reminded the public to adhere to government directives on protective measures against the virus such as frequent hand washing, sanitizing, observing social distancing and wearing face masks.

“Protect yourself and others from the spread of Covid-19. This is our main message to the people. The disease is still there so we should continue observing experts’ advice,” he emphasized.

The government must ensure that all essential equipment are available to health workers to facilitate smooth and safe execution of their duties, he stated.

Dr Shadrack Mwaibambe, a MAT official, highlighted the health benefits of ginger saying it contains a lot of zinc mineral which boosts the development of blood cells.

Zinc is essential in blood development so its consumers stand a better chance to fight the disease, he affirmed.

Research has also shown that out of 90 dead bodies tested in Italy indicated that Covid-19 infections cause blood clotting, a problem that can be fought by consuming ginger, he specified.

Recently, Researchers at the Tanzania Forests Research Institute (TAFORI) identified 10 types of trees which can treat early symptoms of Covid-19.

TAFORI Acting Director General Revocatus Mushumbusi said the trees are locally known as Mlungulungu, Nengo Nengo, Mwatya, Mlundalunda, Mfutwambula, Ningiwe, Mgada, Mondo, Msana and Mzima, whose roots and leaves have been treating various diseases that have symptoms akin to Covid-19.

On May 7, Tanzania received its first airlift of an organic preparation to use it in coronavirus prevention and treatment, while strident warnings were being received from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that its efficacy is unproven.

The National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) recently partnered with the Ministry of Health to develop guidelines on how and what type of traditional medicines can be used for helping Covid-19 patients.

NIMR Director General Prof Yunus Mgaya weighed in on ongoing confusion about the use of traditional medicines, saying the research outfit had started working with other agencies to develop guidelines on the matter. It has since started marketing its own organic product, NIMRCAF.

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