Stay Smart About Africa

Giving Traditional Medicine a Chance

In Cameroon, a Catholic Church archbishop says he has discovered a remedy for the virus based on his 30 years of research into herbal medicine. Archbishop Samuel Kleda claims have attracted plenty of attention in the central African country as he’s been offering the “Essential Oils” remedy for free. It has prompted Cameroon’s government to dispatch a team to study the treatment. Up to 80% of Africans use medicinal plants for healing at some point in their lives, but without rigorous research they aren’t all feasible to develop into widely available commercial drugs. “The normal process of testing (a drug) takes long because you have to do all the phases,” says Dr. Zabulon Yoti, WHO Africa Regional emergencies director. “You need to do testing in animals before you come to humans. When it comes to humans, you need to test a small group of people and also watch for all effects while testing—the positive ones, side effects and some medium to long term effects. Then you can give to a larger population.”


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