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Nkumkrom: Where both young and old rely on herbs to treat malaria

Herbal Meds.png A photo of herbal medicines

Tue, 23 Mar 2021 Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Correspondence from Eastern Region

Many residents of Nkumkrom, a community lying at the base of the Aburi-Nsawam mountain in the Akuapem South District of Eastern Region, do not believe antimalarial is efficacious in healing them of malaria.

A number of them interviewed indicated that they had been relying on herbs which they mix and boil to prepare concoction to treat the killer malaria disease which has claimed millions of lives over the years.

In the year 2020 alone, over 400,000 people were killed by malaria with over two hundred million cases recorded globally. Eleven countries account for over 70% of these malaria cases & deaths worldwide, including Ghana.

Ghana as at 2020 recorded a total of 307,513 malaria cases while a total of 325 persons died from the disease with one of the reasons being that they either sought late treatment or did not seek treatment at all.

When this reporter visited the Nkumkrom community, both young and old residents indicated that malaria hardly attacked them and that when it did, they would usually boil herbs to treat it.

Some of them however, confessed that they sleep in the long lasting insecticide nets (LLIN) and insecticide spray which saves them from mosquito bites.

“I have contracted malaria before. It has been long about three years now. When I got malaria, I would feel feverish and my body would be hot at the same time. My parents bought medicine for me but the medicine could not heal me and they prepared herbal concoction for me to drink. The malaria stopped when I took it.

“In order not contract malaria, I now sleep in mosquito net. They gave it to us in school. My family members also sleep in the net. My siblings and I took all that from the school for them,” a 14-year-old boy said.

Another resident, 18-year-old Benjamin Ofosu also narrated that for about five years now he had not had malaria and that the last time he had, he took herbal medicine.

“The secret is that I protect myself from contracting it. I spray my room with insecticide spray. There are mosquitoes here. When I had malaria I never went to the hospital. I took herbal medicine,” he stressed.

Osei Michael is also a 17-year-old youth who told this reporter that, “I have got malaria before. A long time ago like four years now.”

“For me, I don’t sleep in the net but I have medicine that when I boil and drink, I will not get sick when a mosquito bites me. My household members do same. We don’t get sick. We pick different herbs including pineapple peels and boil them together,” he said.

Samuel Quainoo, 13, who got malaria about six months ago was the only one who said that when he got malaria, his parents took him to a nearby clinic where he was injected and given antimalarial to treat the disease.

“Almost 6 months ago I got malaria. When it happened, I got fever and was vomiting. They took me to the hospital at Pokrom, the next town from here. At the hospital, they injected me and gave me medicine and I got well.

“For now I sleep in the net. My household use the net. They distributed them to us in school. I have taken herbal medicine before but not when I got the malaria” he added.

Some adults who spoke to this journalist off record indicated that malaria had prevented them from working for one week or more and, thus, affected their income earnings.

Ironically, all five of them said they never attended hospital to treat malaria whenever they contracted the disease but that they relied on herbal concoction to treat their malaria ailment.

The world, including Ghana, is uniting people around the globe to form a movement called "Zero Malaria Starts With Me" to eliminate malaria.

Experts have averred that Malaria is stopping children from going to school as well as preventing families from earning a living and perpetuating the cycle of poverty.

In Africa and in Ghana for instance, organisations such as Speak-Up Africa, National Malaria Control Programme and the African Media in Malaria Research Network (AMMREN) including several other partners have been embarking on advocacy in communities to deal with the deadly disease.

Source: www.ghanaweb.com
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