When Cameroon registered its first case of COVID-19 on March 6 in its capital Yaounde, public health officials assured citizens that the government would take swift measures to contain the spread of the virus, including the mandatory use of face masks in public areas. .
But the virus spread quickly and also created chaos in the economy.
By March 17, when Prime Minister Joseph Dione Ngute announced 13 guidelines to stop the spread, ten people had already tested positive. Since March, Cameroon has recorded 8,060 cases, with more than 200 deaths and more than 4,700 cases recovered since June 8.
But on April 30, Ngute relaxed several measures for COVID-19, after an inter-ministerial meeting with the aim of recovering the economy and local markets.
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise in Cameroon, many who believe in local herbs have turned to the mugwort plant, as the government plans to reopen the country's economy. Most Cameroonians believe in the efficacy of the mugwort plant in treating malaria and other diseases.
Conglad Ngwa, a botanical scientist and fungal researcher at the University of Buea, told Global Voices that the edible mugwort plant can treat headaches and stomach illnesses, in addition to many other ailments.
On April 25, the archbishop of the metropolitan diocese of Douala, Samuel Kleda, announced on national television CRTV that he has achieved an herbal treatment for COVID-19 that includes the mugwort plant. Archbishop Kelda said:
Given that I already knew the plants according to the symptoms of the coronavirus, I have simply put together these combinations, prepared them and given to persons with the symptoms and they were relieved.
Since I already knew the plants, based on the symptoms of the coronavirus, I simply put these combinations together, prepared them and gave it to people with the symptoms and they were relieved.
Kleda has nearly 30 years of research experience with medicinal plants, with a focus on herbal treatment for ailments affecting the respiratory system.
It took some time for the Cameroonian government to react to the cleric's treatment of the coronavirus, and questions arose among Cameroonians. On May 19, President Paul Biya surprisingly encouraged the use of home treatments to fight the coronavirus in a televised address to the nation.
The president's call prompted Cameroonians to use the local herbal combination more to treat COVID-19 symptoms. The potency of mugwort – also known as wormwood – has caused an increase in cultivation in Cameroon.
The common recipe includes lime, lemon, pineapple, herbs, and mugwort plant that is boiled and drunk as tea.
When I flew to Cameroon a few months ago, I was given this ‘Artemesia’ tea to drink, as a preventive shield against malaria.
Interesting to learn it may offer some level of immunity against CoronaVirus too, should be further studies on this plant's properties vs. Covid-19 👁️👁️ https://t.co/LYF5RY0qbY
– FLOЯIΛN 🇺🇸 🇨🇲 🏁 (@Florianaire) May 1, 2020
ha ha The doctor behind Madagascar's remedy for COVID-19 is Congolese. President Tshisekedi wants him back.
When I traveled to Cameroon a few months ago, I was given this 'artemesia' (sic) tea to drink as a preventive measure against malaria.
It is interesting to know that it can provide a certain level of immunity against the coronavirus too, there should be more studies of the properties of the plant against Covid-19. 👁️
Atoh Mercy Acca, an accountant working in Doula, Cameroon, told Global Voices that her parents sent her pre-prepared traditional herbs for her to boil and drink after she told them that her boss's family was showing symptoms of coronavirus:
As soon as I informed my parents about my boss whose child died of an alleged COVID-19, my parents did not hesitate to send my bottles of traditional herbs for me to boil and drink.
As soon as I told my parents about my boss, whose son apparently died of COVID-19, my parents did not hesitate and sent me bottles of traditional herbs to boil and drink.
Bekondo Nestorine, who works at a print shop in Limbe, Cameroon, told Global Voices that he and his colleagues boiled and drank mugwort plant almost three times a day in their office, and that they included ginger to strengthen their immune systems.
Re-grow Artemisia plants
Asaba Lynda, an environmental enthusiast who works with the Southwest Regional Delegation for Environmental Protection and Sustainable Development, told Global Voices that “thanks to the coronavirus, many people have returned to growing plants, especially those they believe help in treatment. of the virus ”.
Set Ekwadi Songe, another regional delegate, expressed concern over a possible shortage of mugwort plant over the rise in popularity as an essential ingredient in home herbal remedies:
As people want to protect themselves from COVID-19, many herbalists, many traditional practitioners, are now going to nature to look at all types of species to produce cures, hence tampering with the existence of such species. Like the artemisia plant, it's going to be difficult for us to get the plant because everybody wants it to treat COVID-19.
Since people want to protect themselves from COVID-19, many herbalists, many traditional doctors now turn to nature to look for all kinds of species to produce cures, and that is why they are affecting the existence of that species. Like the mugwort plant, it will be difficult for us to get to the plant because everything wants to be about COVID-19.
However, delegate Songe added that he is glad that the plant exists to help the population.
Respect traditional medicine
The emergence of artemisia as a respected plant is not a surprise in Cameroon, where traditional healers have used the plant for centuries to cure various ailments, including malaria.
Now that the pharmaceutical world has recognized the efficacy of the plant as potential cures for communicable diseases, there has been an increase in sagebrush plantations, large and small. This can be seen as an affront to large pharmaceutical companies trying to control their production, according to Irene Teis, on her blog for Malaria World. In 2019, he wrote:
Artemisia plantations are spreading like a bushfire all over Cameroon, under the vigilant eye of universities and local organizations who avoid that the plant is improperly cultivated, handled and used.
Artemisia plantations spread like wildfire throughout Cameroon, under the watchful eye of universities and local organizations that prevent the plant from being improperly grown, managed and managed.
Teis maintains that the life of traditional healers has been threatened and that local artemisia plantations have been destroyed by the Police:
Several cases of murder or attempted murder have become known recently. It is also discouraging for them that their research and numerous clinical trials are ignored or depreciated by the medical neocolonialism, mostly by French experts.
Recently, several cases of murder or attempted murder have been reported. It is also discouraging for them that their research and numerous clinical tests are ignored or neglected by medical neocolonialism, especially by French experts.
The mugwort plant made headlines recently when Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina noted that organic COVID, a locally produced herbal brew containing mugwort, would cure symptoms caused by the virus.
The World Health Organization ruled out the effectiveness of organic COVID, and insisted that there is no known cure for COVID-19, but leaders in several African countries supported the product, such as Tanzania and Comoros.
Netizen Kathleen Ndongmo asked on Twitter for more research on the power of traditional plants and herbs to cure contagious viruses.
Madagascar's recently released # COVID19 drug is largely artemesia based.
Now, shouldn't #Africa have a council of experts taking a deeper look at the natural medicines we've used for years?
How many of us “swear” by lemongrass, pineapple skin tea, hibiscus, paw-paw leaves?
– Kathleen Ndongmo (@KathleenNdongmo) April 30, 2020
The video from Cameroonian security officials in which security officials burn plants on a two-hectare farm.
Did they conduct research to prove conclusively that it was not mugwort?
The abuse of power causes thousands of innocent people to rot in jail while awaiting trial. Everything for what?
Madagascar recently launched a drug for the COVID-19 basically made of mugwort.
Now, shouldn't Africa have expert advice that takes a closer look at the natural medicines we've used for years?
How many of us “swear” by lemongrass, pineapple skin tea, hibiscus, papaya leaves?