Govt Turns to Herbalists as Kenya Ignored in Global Vaccine Report

  • A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    A medical practitioner dressed in protective gear at the Coronavirus isolation and treatment facility in Mbagathi District Hospital on Friday, March 6, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke
  • The Kenyan government has turned to herbal medicine to help get a cure for Covid-19

    A programme to spark innovation among herbal medicine specialists is in the works, with the focus being put on the pandemic.

    Speaking during a forum with more than 200 herbalists in Kakamega on Wednesday, December 9, Sports and Heritage PS Josephta Mukobe urged them to use their skills to rescue their compatriots from dying of the virus. 

    A medicine vial labelled coronavirus vaccine.
    A medicine vial labelled coronavirus vaccine.
    File

    “For long we have been ignorant of the assessment of traditional herbal medicine. The process of finding the cure to coronavirus should not be left to the government alone,” she stated.

    “The world is equally looking for a cure through herbal medicine,” she added, challenging the herbalist to work with the Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI).

    The sentiments were shared by Council of Governors Chair Wycliffe Oparanya who urged the government to support the herbal specialists through research and funding. 

    “Herbalists should come on board and help us solve the coronavirus scare. Do not sit on your innovation. Trees and animal products have been very helpful in the past,” read Oparanya’s speech presented by his deputy Philip Kutima.

    At least 10 herbalists claimed, without evidence, they had remedies which could cure Covid-19 related complications.

    This comes just as Kenya was left out from the first global report on Covid-19 vaccine trials. 

    The report prepared by The University of Oxford alongside AstraZeneca only included the UK, Brazil and South Africa despite Kenya’s participation

    Researchers close to the Kenyan trials blamed the delay on internal disagreements at the Ministry of Health, resulting in late adoption of the trials. 

    The country’s trials kicked off in October despite requests for approval being made in April.

    Scientists explained that Kenya’s report would be released in 2021.   

    Some of the beds placed within the Covid-19 emergency treatment tent at the Machakos Stadium, April 20, 2020
    Some of the beds placed within the Covid-19 emergency treatment tent at the Machakos Stadium, April 20, 2020
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