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24.04.2020 Feature Article

COVID19: ‘Fake’ Vaccines And Bogus Cure Claims In Nigeria

COVID19: ‘Fake’ Vaccines And Bogus Cure Claims In Nigeria
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While the coronavirus is a killer pandemic, there is another factor that could exacerbate the management of the virus, and lead to the death of many people in Nigeria-the proliferation of fake vaccines and bogus cure claims linked to traditional medicine.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, many self-styled traditional doctors have been advertising alternative treatments and questionable therapies.

Their thinking is that since the orthodox medicine does not yet have a cure or vaccine, any trado-medical concoction suffices. Unfortunately, it does not work that way.

A photo of some concoction, identified as ‘COVID19 Vaccine’ has been circulating on social media. All those who value public health should be worried about this so-called vaccine because some members of the public could take it and die or suffer some health damage. The producers and marketers of this concoction did not mince words. They called it COVID19 Vaccine. What a name! So, they should be taken seriously.

First, it is pertinent to ask: Who are the producers and marketers of this 'vaccine'? What do they know about a virus, the coronavirus, and vaccines? Is this a vaccine against the coronavirus or some herbal fluid? Is the NCDC aware of it? Is it certified by NAFDAC?

Now this ‘vaccine’ was purportedly made from ‘traditional medicine’ in Kano in Northern Nigeria. Is there a traditional medical factory in Kano that has the capacity of producing a vaccine? What are the traditional medical elements therein? How did they combine to form a vaccine against COVID19?

Apart from a contact telephone number, there are no details of those who produced this ‘vaccine’- the traditional medical experts and facilities that manufactured it. There is no information regarding the content, the process of production, and certification. Was this 'COVID19 vaccine' ever tested? Did they ascertain its potency, safety, and efficacy? These questions need to be meticulously answered.

COVID19 is a pandemic that is ravaging many parts of the world. It has claimed tens of thousands of lives worldwide. At the moment, there is no cure or vaccine for it. Some vaccines are being tested and tried in Europe and America. And while the world anxiously awaits the outcome of these trials, it is reckless and irresponsible for anybody to advertise and market concoctions as COVID19 vaccine in plastic containers in Kano. It is irresponsible for any country that values public health to condone such dubious and dangerous practices.

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Leo Igwe
Leo Igwe, © 2020

The author has 326 publications published on Modern Ghana.Column: LeoIgwe

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