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Burundi: New life for traditional medicine

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  • Burundi: New life for traditional medicine


    Burundi: New life for traditional medicine through the strength of COVID-19
    Posted on: June 21, 2020- by muco-

    Bujumbura, Burundi, - In Burundi, we are witnessing a new breath of traditional medicine, following the rise in power of the Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19, 104 reported cases), with no vaccine or drug known to the modern world.

    Some 75 recoveries, 28 pending hospitalizations and one death are the latest updated figures from the Burundian Ministry of Public Health and the Fight against HIV / AIDS.

    Traditionally popular in rural areas where more than 80% of the Burundian population live, this medicine has gained ground, in recent times a generalized psychosis with COVID-19.

    In Bujumbura, the economic capital of Burundi, street vendors have set up shop, offering, which green leaves of eucalyptus, which ginger, which powders ready to use to protect themselves from the dreaded virus.

    Traditional healers have nonetheless always advised eucalyptus green leaves in case of respiratory distress or the flu, which are the main manifestations of COVID-19.

    To cure it, it was enough to heat the leaves in a container, cover your head well over the receptacle and inhale the steam thoroughly.

    The other "grandmother's recipe" tearing up in popular Bujumbura markets is ginger with supposedly curative properties against the virus.

    The recipe is still radical, combined with garlic, lemon and red onion, advise traditional healers.

    Many city dwellers in Bujumbura testify that they do not sleep without having swallowed hot sips of this bitter cocktail to protect themselves from the virus.

    Other apprentice healers in Bujumbura offer uncertain powders because they are not approved.

    The Minister of Public Health and the Fight against HIV / AIDS, Dr Thaddée Ndikumna, has multiplied in recent days, warnings against the naive and abusive use of traditional healers who are not best suited to treat COVID-19.

    According to him, this use of "falsely magic herbs and other plants" is not worth it.

    In Burundi, in 80% of cases, COVID-19 patients recover by consulting the official health facilities, he maintains.

    Faced with criticism of the Ministry of Health's inaction, Dr Ndikumana assured that, starting next week, all the health districts of the country will be equipped to directly take care of COVID-19 cases instead of referring them systematically to Bujumbura.

    In Burundi, the first two imported cases were officially declared in Bujumbura in late March.

    At first, the cases were treated exclusively at the public clinic "Prince Louis Rwagasore" in Bujumbura.

    Recently, private hospitals in the capital have been allowed to handle COVID-19 cases, which have long been understated and hidden for a variety of reasons, critics say.

    Unlike other countries in the world, confinement has not been decreed so as not to penalize the majority of the Burundian population who earn their daily living, in the informal sector.

    Markets, public transport, schools and universities, places of leisure and parties remained open to the public.

    In addition, this year's general elections were kept as planned despite the public outcry over threats from the virus.

    During his official inauguration last Thursday, the new Burundian president, Evariste Ndayishimiye, further downplayed the “few cases” of COVID-19 in Burundi and “thanks to divine protection”.