BY KORIR JUMA,NAIROBI,5TH AUG 2021-Visiting Tanzanian health Minister Dr. Dorothy Gwajima has defended her country’s controversial decision to settle on local herbs for protection against Covid-19 disease.
Dr. Gwajima, in fact, says she does not regret advocating for use of herbal remedies to take the sting out of the deadly pathogen.
Addressing the press after bilateral talks with her Kenyan counterpart Mutahi Kagwe on Thursday, she noted that Africa was overflowing with tried and tested herbal medicines that have the ability to treat multiple diseases.
She argues that since there has been no known cure for the deadly virus, wisdom dictates the use of such knowledge to mitigate the effects of the pandemic.
The minister, who is on an official visit to Kenya, strongly rooted for combined use of traditional and conventional therapies in the fight against the pandemic.
“These traditional remedies have been in use for ages in our societies and many have been helped by them, including myself and my family,” Dr Gwajima said.
She, however, acknowledges the importance of the vaccine noting that this is the reason the East African nation has finally rolled out a vaccination campaign.
She even vouches for the jabs saying she is convinced that the Covid vaccines on offer are safe and will go a long way in saving populations from the threats of the disease.
Already, President Samia Suluhu Hassan has received her COVID-19 vaccine in public as a show of confidence in the doses.
Dr Gwajima went on to narrate how she battled Covid-19 when the first wave hit the country at a time the nation under the leadership of the late President John Maguful had denied the existence of Covid.
She said she overcame the virus by use of approved local herbs, conventional drugs and practiced hygiene.
She maintained herbal remedies, not only meant for Covid-19 but for other diseases such as asthma, flu and other new diseases cannot be dismissed.
“Hata Mimi ni mhanga wa first wave, I was attacked, nilisaga hizo malimau, na vitunguu, na juice zote nilikunywa pamoja na paracetamol nilikunywa, na kulala na kutibu vitu vingine ambavyo vingeweza vikawa vinani sorround, kama malaria nili check, kama ni vitu vingine antibiotics nilikunywa. Kwenye medicine tuna kitu kinaitwa synergy, imagine unaumwa malaria Kali, malaria Kali huwa tunafanya combined therapy.. (“I am also a victim of the first wave, I was attacked, I crashed lemons, garlic, took all herbal remedies, paracetamols, antibiotics……..in medicine, we have what we call synergy….)She said.
She added “Tulihimiza kutumia tiba asili lakini pamoja na vyakula vya tiba asili, pamoja na mazoezi, pamoja na all precautions zingine kipindi hicho na zilisaidia watu” ….(We encouraged the use of traditional medicine, together with medicinal foods, exercise and all other precautions at the time and they helped people)”.
Kenya and Tanzania have embarked on collaborations in different sectors aimed at strengthening ties between the two countries.
The two countries have also agreed to put stringent measures to contain the spread of the disease at the borders.
“Following the meetings, we have resolved several issues pertaining to the fight against Covid-19 which are contained in a joint communique that we are going to share out with you.
The areas we have tackled include cross border issues that involve citizens of both countries such as transport, Covid-19 testing and validation systems for those leaving and entering both countries among other issues” said Kagwe.