In Africa, only 32.8% of the population lives in urban areas and the rest live in rural areas. COVID-19 is prevalent in urban areas and can spread to rural areas when relatives from urban areas visit their siblings. Life in rural areas involves agriculture and livestock keeping and hence social distancing is automatic. Lockdown is impossible for nomads who graze their cattle. So, this western solution does not work there.
Rogate R. Mshana, Ecolife, Tanzania, Arusha
First let us know that Traditional medicine in Africa leads the beginning of recorded history but centuries of this long tradition of herbal and alternative medicine in Africa was ruptured by so called European civilization. Nevertheless, a huge percentage of Africans do not depend on western medicine and the so-called science-based treatment. There are many cases where patients treated by western-based medicine could not recover but were cured by Traditional medicines. This observation led to integrating Traditional medicine with modern medicine in many African countries.
Secondly, Traditional herbal medicine research centers were started, and traditional healers and herbalists were invited to work together with western educated doctors. Africans have not fully trusted this approach, however because modern medicine is still dominant and suspicious of traditional medicine, the latter is always ignored unless tested scientifically. It is a fact, however that the majority of rural Africans depend more on the traditional medicine for their health.
Approximately 60%-‐80% of the people in Africa rely on traditional remedies to treat themselves for various diseases. A recent systematic review estimated that close to 60% (58.2%) [4.6%-‐ 94%] of the general population in sub-‐Saharan Africa use traditional and complementary medicine product.
Thirdly, slowly we notice a global recognition of African Traditional Medicine. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), the World Health Organisation (WHO), Pax Herbals, and the African Centre for Disease Control (ACDC) have said that African Traditional Medicine (ATM) including herbal medicine has the potential to provide a cure for the deadly Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and other so-called incurable diseases such as cancer, Human Immuno-‐deficiency Virus (HIV), diabetes and hypertension. (high blood pressure)
As part of activities to mark the African Traditional Medicine Day (ATMD) August 31, 2020, stakeholders have examined the progress in the past 20 years towards raising the prominence of traditional medicine in national health systems.
COVID‐19 is prevalent mainly in Urban Areas in Africa
In Africa, only 32.8% of the population lives in urban areas and the rest live in rural areas. COVID-19 is prevalent in urban areas and can spread to rural areas when relatives from urban areas visit their siblings. Life in rural areas involves agriculture and livestock keeping and hence social distancing is automatic. Lockdown is impossible for nomads who graze their cattle. So, this western solution does not work there. For those that contact COVID‐19 particularly in my country embark on applying herbs like ginger, turmeric, garlic and lemons with their shells in hot water and taken as a drink daily while other herbs are boiled producing vapor that is inhaled to open oxygen pathways and increase needed zinc elements boosting immunity. It has been established that medicines in rural areas are part of the diet taken by the people. NIMRI, one of the Research institute for traditional medicine and nutrition in Tanzania, has produced a concoction of mixing ginger, garlic, onions, and lemons that help eliminate the early symptoms of COVID-19. This can be bought in shops or made in homes. Madagascar has also produced such concoction and people are relieved and eventually escape death. Many people in the rural areas use this remedy. The bottom line is that prevention is the issue at the moment. No cure has yet been established except the news that was shared recently of using Chlorine dioxide discovered by a Swiss doctor Andrea Skalcker. He found that in Bolivia there were a 100 deaths a day but after administering this treatment, the deaths fell to zero. The huge agenda of global companies trying to discourage curative research are up in arms against this doctor. They want to sell their vaccines, which are still temporary in protecting people. Such doctors are blocked.
Many Africans especially in the rural areas claimed to have symptoms of COVID-19 such as coughing, short of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, loss of taste or smell but after taking the herbal concoctions mentioned earlier were cured. I think Africa Health research centers should conduct serious research in curing COVID- 19 by African Traditional Medicine.
Rogate R. Mshana, Ecolife, Tanzania, Arusha