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Aibu Yetu zaidi: Tanzania declares wonder herb safe

Discussion in 'Habari na Hoja mchanganyiko' started by Gad ONEYA, May 31, 2011.

  1. G

    Gad ONEYA JF-Expert Member

    #1
    May 31, 2011
    Joined: Oct 26, 2010
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    [FONT=&quot]Source: Daily Nation 31st May 2011
    [/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Tanzanian has said the Loliondo “wonder herb” is safe for use.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]A report released by the government indicates that the concoction made by retired pastor Ambilikile Mwasapile from the “Mugariga” tree ([FONT=&quot]Carissa edulis[/FONT]) “is not toxic and is safe for use”.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]However, Kenyans have been warned against abandoning conventional medicine for the herb.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Director of Public Health Shanaaz Sharif told the [FONT=&quot]Nation[/FONT] that there was insufficient proof to support the Rev Mwasapile’s claims that his concoction actually worked.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“We advise Kenyans to keep away from the so-called ‘wonder drug’ until we can confirm that it works,” he said. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]The warning comes a few days after it emerged that people continue to demand that sick relatives be discharged from hospitals to be served the concoction. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Last week, church leaders in Bomet complained that even highly educated people were forcibly discharging patients from hospitals to take them to Loliondo. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]A report by medical researchers from Tanzania’s National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences (Muhas) gave the herb the thumbs up although it recommended further studies to determine the exact dosage to be administered.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Dr Hamisi Malebo of NIMR and Dr Zakaria Mbwabo of the Institute of Traditional Medicine at Muhas conceded that the herb could, in fact, be used to treat six types of illnesses.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“The plant is safe and the dosage prescribed by Rev Mwasapile is below the toxic level. The available scientific data supports (his) ethno-medical claims,” they wrote.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]They say the tree can treat epilepsy, heart problems, can be used as a general body cleanser and as an antiviral agent.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]However, Dr Sharif disputed the conclusion, saying while previous research had shown a similar finding, it would be premature to allow someone without medical experience to administer medicine whose research is still going on.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“Nobody can confirm whether it works or not in such a short time. We are disputing that claim because our own experts have been carrying out research on this herb for 15 years,” he said.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In 2006, the [FONT=&quot]Journal of Ethnopharmacology [/FONT]reported findings by the Kenya Medical Research Institute in which experiments had shown that an aqueous extract preparation from the root bark of the plant reduced the activity of herpes simplex virus (HSV) — both whole living organisms (in vivo) and in virus strains separated from the living organisms (in vitro). [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]However, researchers noted that while the findings were positive, they could not identify, initially, how the exact components of the bark syrup with potency to deactivate viruses could be isolated.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“These agents (in the bark extract) need to be isolated and identified and screened for possible antiviral activity. Such agents could be developed as anti-HSV agents or provide a template for the synthesis of a new anti-HSV agent,” they concluded.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In Tanzania, the government is following up patients who have been undergoing treatment to determine if the herbal syrup can indeed cure ailments. [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]According to the lead scientist for the project, Dr Mwelecele Malecela, those who agree to be monitored will report to referral hospitals for regular check-ups.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]“The results of the study will be used by the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to advise the government on the treatment of chronic illnesses using herbal remedies. This information will also be used to inform the international community,” Dr Malecela said.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]In the meantime, the Tanzanian authorities have not forbidden the old man from handing out the “miracle cup”. In fact, they have been convincing investors to improve infrastructure.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]Last week, mobile operator Tigo installed a mast to boost the signal in the area.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]It is estimated that the old man, who claims he received powers from God to administer the concoction, must have served over 20,000 “patients” so far.[/FONT]
     
  2. G

    Gad ONEYA JF-Expert Member

    #2
    May 31, 2011
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    It could be the first time in history ( I remain to be corrected) for the health professionals to approve of a ''drug'' without carrying out full research and having a tangible results as proof to support the decision.
     
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