Busia, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Health officials are alarmed by residents in Masinya sub county of Busia district who have opted to use fresh leaves of marijuana and aloe vera as local remedy for the coronavirus.
Residents says they mix aloe vera and fresh leaves of marijuana, avocado, mangoes with oranges, onions and ginger which they boil and give to any family member who has developed symptoms similar to those of coronavirus to drink.
According to residents, one is required to drink a full cup of the concoction twice a day. Sometimes, just after boiling, they immediately put the boiled and steaming herbs near the patient and cover them with a blanket to feel the steam until the body sweats.
Geoffrey Nasichongi, the LC3 chairman Masinya sub-county says that the local remedy has healed his family members who were affected with the coronavirus just after his wife tested positive to the disease.
Nasichongi says that they applied the local herbs just after he tried to reach Masafu hospital to get recommended drugs like zinc, erythromycin and vitamin C to treat the disease but were out of stock.
Nasichongi says that he was forced to use local herbs after all his family members developed symptoms but the local remedy healed them within three days. Using his family members as example, the Masinya sub county LC.3 chairman says that they have started door to door sensitization in the villages so that residents can embrace the local herb as a remedy for coronavirus.
Abdull Barasa, Pataleo Wafula Opondo, Esther Nasichongi among other residents in Masinya sub county say that they have used the local herb and it healed them and their family members.
Esther Nasichongi says that they started using the local herbs last year since the health workers told them that coronavirus symptoms are the same to that of malaria. Whenever a family member develops the symptoms, they go and pick the local herbs and boil to drink immediately.
Robert Ouma, the Masinya sub county health inspector condemned the concoction and says that residents are putting their lives in danger to drink an unrecommended local herbs that health experts have not approved.
Ouma says that one may take an overdose as plants like marijuana are toxic and harmful to human life. He appealed to residents to desist from taking the concoction and advised whoever has a health problem to go for medical checkup so they can get proper medications.
Dr Mathias Wabwire Panyako, the Busia district health officer- DHO warned residents against using harmful drugs like marijuana that are dangerous to human life. He says that the only local ways to fight against the coronavirus is to to eat citrus fruits which are full of Vitamin C, ginger and doing physical exercises.
By last week, Busia district had registered over 340 positive coronavirus cases and 14 deaths from 6,302 samples tested from the community. Out of the 340, 312 were under home-based care and 28 who were severely sick were admitted to Masafu General Hospital.