Scientists concerned about excessive use of concoctions in COVID-19 management

herbal concoctions
Herbal concoctions. Courtesy Photo

Kalungu, Uganda | URN | The extensive use of herbal concoctions in COVID-19 management in Kalungu district has drawn concern from scientists conducting a Community Survey on the impact of the pandemic. 

Teams of scientists from the Medical Research Council of Uganda (MRC-U) from the field station in Kyamulubwa Sub County are conducting a survey on the implication of COVID-19 to the other underlying health and social conditions in the community.

Dr. Joseph Mugisha, the project Deputy Principal Investigator, says preliminary findings show that many people are inclined to using herbal concoctions for disease prevention as opposed to the scientifically proven methods. 

He says that communities are being driven by misconceptions on the realities about COVID-19 and as a result, are reluctant to observe the Standard Operation Procedures [SOPs] for their safety, something that increases their vulnerability to the virus.

According to Mugisha, left unchecked, the underlying community myth about the virus and its realities may exacerbate the COVID-19 situation especially in rural areas where testing is still a very big challenge.   

Dr. Mugisha has also urged the communities to ensure that they get a nutritious diet comprising fruits and natural foods rich in Vitamins A, B and C, as well as avoiding presumptive treatment of illnesses.

Bernard Mpeirwe, the Research Project Coordinator, says that they have also noticed many people are still ignorant on the appropriate use of facemasks as a preventive gear. 

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He says their teams have resorted to using Community Advisory Board [CAB] members to conduct community mobilization drives as way of addressing the growing levels of complacency as well as responding to the unfounded myths about the COVID-19 pandemic.

Notably, available figures from the Ministry of Health indicates that Uganda has a total 21,409 confirmed cases drawn from 633,932 samples tested so far. 433 of the cases are active while 206 people have succumbed to the virus.