Medical experts have advocated for the use of vaccines and prescribed medicines following the widespread use of herbal concoctions and other remedies to treat covid-19.
Speaking during the YAFM and Great Dyke TV virtual conference running under the theme ‘Demystifying covid-19 vaccination’ held this Tuesday, Dr Conford Gweme from Nectacare representing the sponsors CellMed Health Medical Fund said the use of concoctions and herbal teas such as zumbani is not supported by any scientific knowledge.
“When it comes to social media we see many posts that are anti vaccine, that are not based on scientific advice or else there are facts blended with misinformation. I think it’s important to hold such awareness campaigns to reassure our population to understand that the vaccines are very safe.
“Your body will actually make antibodies against the virus and there will be B cells that will remember that they have been exposed to covid-19 before and that will protect you,” he said.
Dr Gweme said traditional medicines are hamstrung by lack of the scientific approach.
“The traditional healers and others who use traditional medicine are also regulated and are expected to register the medicines they use.
“I haven’t seen anywhere where zumbani was authorised to be used for treatment of covid-19 and I don’t think zumbani and other (traditional) medicines are evidence based, “said DrGweme
Dr Agnes Mahomva, Chief Coordinator National Response to covid-19 who was the guest of honour at the event said thequantities of herbal concoctions being taken by covid-19 patients and other people trying to ward off the diseases could damage some vital body organs.
“It is important for us to make it clear that as doctors we are rolling out vaccines based on science. Those who manufacture these are using science.
“When it comes to the traditional medicines, a number are used as tea and so on. If used like this they may not have any harm at all.
“We get worried about the quantities that are then consumed by the people which can be damaging. We get worried also whenpeople say I took this herbal medicine and got cured. That is the issue we are not happy with. Sometimes people take quantities that go on to damage the liver and kidneys,” she said
Dr Mahomva said that government is scaling up the vaccination programme by introduction additional vaccination teams. She noted that the number of people interested in getting vaccinated has been rising steadily and there are now longer queues for people going for the vaccination at Wilkins and Parirenyatwa hospitals in Harare.
She said government is targeting to vaccinate 60 percent of the population to achieve herd immunity.
The webinar was sponsored by CellMed Health Fund and Gateway construction.