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Malaria has no herbal product cure yet – NIMR

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By Abiodun Okunloye

The disease is triggered by the bite of an infected female mosquito's parasite.

During an exclusive interview with members of the press, Dr. Aina Oluwagbemiga, a medical researcher working at the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), located in Yaba, Lagos, revealed that the institute has not yet come across any herbal medication that is capable of curing malaria in the country. According to Dr. Aina, who is a Deputy Director of Research at the Centre for Research in Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicine, Biochemistry and Nutrition Department at NIMR, herbal remedies that have been observed up until this point can only reduce the parasite capacity and cannot cure it in the same way as chloroquine does.

Being the deputy director of malaria research, who has worked in the field for over 25 years, he asserted that despite the claims made by their producers, the majority of herbal remedies for its treatment in the country lack reliable proof of their effectiveness. Malaria is a disease that is triggered by a parasite that is of the genus Plasmodium. It is spread through the bite of female mosquitoes that have been infected. The severity of the disease might vary depending on the species of the Plasmodium.

Malaria symptoms appear after a few weeks of getting infected.

According to the World Health Organization, it is a disease that can be prevented and treated, yet despite this, it has continued to have severe effects on people’s health and their ability to make a living in different parts of the world. It is characterized by chills, fever, and profuse sweating, which typically appear a few weeks after a bite and can be treated with antimalarial medications. Over the past two years, the NIMR has evaluated different herbal remedies for its treatment, and not a single one has been able to back up the claims made by its producer.

More so, he explained that he knows from his personal experience that there is no herbal remedy available that can treat it. The only thing they do is bring down the body temperature, and the parasites will only be temporarily inhibited; once some time has passed, they will return. Therefore, chloroquine is more effective at curing it than they are. When people claim that they can cure malaria, he affirmed that he does tell them to bring their products so that they may test them together and determine whether or not they are effective.

People need to get tested before confirming they are infected.

They have seen some success with herbal remedies, and they recognize that they cannot prevent individuals from using these remedies, he said. According to Dr. Aina, people shouldn’t assume they have malaria since the symptoms are the same as those of other diseases; instead, they should get tested to be sure. He mentioned that in order to know if one has it, a test must first be performed to check out the parasite. After the examination is finished, people can safely use the herbal supplement.

However, to determine if the parasite has been cured or not, they perform another test in a day or two. That is how an efficacy examination is carried out, and the research institute does that very thing with their conventional treatment, which is called Artemisinin-based Combination Therapy, to determine whether or not it is still successful. Concerning herbal remedies, a great number of individuals assert that the product in question accomplishes this, but a herbal remedy that successfully eliminates the parasite has yet to be seen.

Most herbal product cure only suppress it for some moment.

At the moment, he has evaluated more than 50 different herbal products throughout the course of the past two years. Malaria cannot be cured by any of the products that they have researched thus far; all of them merely reduce its symptoms. He went on to say that after a certain amount of time, the parasite will still come out, and the individual would have these symptoms that indicate he has malaria. On the other hand, he strongly recommended that Nigerians treat it with medication that has been tested and approved.

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NIMR: Website

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