*Says Covid-19 is not new, and have cures
With growing concerns about the acceptance of African herbal medical solution by the World Health Organization (WHO), practitioners are beginning to express worry about the transparency of the international health organisation.
Only recently, the WHO cautioned people against patronising Madagascar’s Covid-19 solution, despite its endorsement by Madagascar’s president and over 15 African countries.
In this interview, National President of the National Association of Nigerian Traditional Medicine Practitioners (NANTMP), His Royal Highness (Dr) T. O Omon Oleabhiele says that WHO will one day need African traditional medicine so badly that it will be forced to endorse African natural herbs and give grants for its extensive study.
He also said that Covid-19 is nothing new in the world, and has always been treated with simple herbal therapeutic methods from time immemorial.
As the president of Traditional medical practitioners in Nigeria, what’s your opinion on the way WHO has been talking down on African alternative medicine?
We thank God that what is happening is no different from what has happened globally.
When aeroplane was discovered by the Wright Brothers, the people in power then criticised the Wright Brothers and said they didn’t know what they are saying. How can steal rise from the ground and fly like a bird? They criticised it.
Even though so many journalists had written diverse stories about these brothers, the government still refused to go and check to see if their claims were right or wrong. Until the brothers had to do a public show, and their plane rose up and stayed on air for four seconds without falling. It stayed only four seconds, and came down without falling, before the government decided to give them a grant. Based on the discovery of the Wright Brothers, aeroplanes can now be as fast as the speed of sound.
When Graham Bell discovered the telephone, his father reported to the police that he was suffering from neurosi, that he was talking to himself, saying hello, yes, how are you.
It was only when his doctor was able to speak through the telephone, to his wife that the telephone was agreed upon.
I don’t want to count other references. Traditional medicine has become like that again. When Qikdosun was discovered to be very good for malaria, which they turned to acupuncture in China, it was taken to the World Health Organization for analysis and exhibition, the WHO refuted the discovery and said that nobody should discuss it.
The people continued and they said, alright. If you cannot use it alone, use it with English medicine. And they described it as a system that is very confusing and bad. They said that if you use it on its own, it’s not good. If you use it with other medicines, it’s so bad, and it needed to be discarded.
But Chairman Mao Tse Tsung, leader of the Peoples Republic of China brought out grants and told the Chinese acupuncturists to continue. He gave them grants to develop their own healing homes, and so many professors joined them to analyse them and write about the practise. All the professors who were working on traditional medicine were also given grants. Five years later, 55 big libraries were built in China where acupuncture papers were stored.
Sicknesses that defied western medicine were healed, and they saw that even when you use it with other medicine, a faster result is always achieved. Then the WHO who said that it must not be used started sending medical experts to China to study acupuncture.
So if traditional medicine is said to be unreliable by the WHO, then congratulations. That is the cap we want to wear, we will now bring out the people that we treated, and when that SIB (seeing is believing) comes up, when the people we treat are well, more well than the people who take western medicines, then WHO will send people to us to come and learn it.
Madagascar is one of the African countries. It is the fourth largest island in the world, with about 11 million people. They use artemisia to produce malaria remedy, and the remedy has treated 109 Covid-19 patients.
There has been no reports of any death. Its a feat, and in Nigeria we have medicine that works either better than that, or as good as that.
We only need encouragement, but unfortunately, it is not an added feather but a minus to say to people that Nigeria is 60 years old as an independent nation. Since 1960, no president, even though they are all very knowledgeable, have been able to set up a research body to discover the efficacy of traditional medicine in our land. No one. A country that has no research body is not looking for a bright future. There must be a research body. If the research body is being monitored by secret intelligence agency, that the traditional medicine may rise against western medicines, what they should do is to appoint traditional medicine research body, put pharmacologists, pharmacists, botanists. When they are doing it, government will set up an institution, and these people must be paid.
The members of the research body must be paid. You cannot get something from nothing. When you are ready to be a surgeon, you must read very well and pay for it. Pay for the books that you are reading. If you want to be a lawyer, you must read very well and pay for it. So please, those who say they want to do something for traditional medicine, don’t invite people to Abuja and then we get there we pay for our flight or transport, we pay for hotels, we attend your meetings, you give us mineral, when we are going, you make us to drop account numbers down that something will be sent to us whereas its a lie. Who is fooling who? Let the government change. Let them establish a research body. We are not ready to be selfish. We know that the health of the people cannot be done by one person, there must be a health synergy between the western doctors and alternative medicine. There should be no rivalry.
It is known that in traditional African medical practice, there could be a time for spiritual methods to be used, a method not recognised by Western medicine…
I will give you an answer, you have asked a question. We Africans have a great heritage. We were taught to say, ‘our father who art in heaven’.
Then we will also say the ‘Hail Mary‘. Today, is that the prayer? When a pastor is praying these days, he will say ‘ana to to to to ko lo bo lo Jehova’. They say its speaking in tongues. Is it the day a man marries the wife of a native doctor that he develops elephantiasis of the scrotum?
When Jesus was asked to pay a tithe, he told Peter to catch a fish from the river, tear up the fish, bring out some precious stones from inside and sell it and pay the taxes. He said ‘give unto Caesar what belongs to Caesar and unto God what belongs to God.
Start with the refined methods first. Use the bark of plants for treatment purposes, use the leaves until it gets to a stage where you can say whether it’s a spirit that’s worrying the woman or the man, and this is what must be done to make sure that the evil hands are removed.
But there are arguments that the issue of spiritually – influenced sicknesses does not come up in Western medicine, even though we know that doctors have had to refer some of their cases for alternative, spiritual treatments. So how do we reconcile these odds, because the WHO, and the NCDC and the Ministry of Health of Nigeria does not recognise these things?
I have told you that it is not a debate. The one they recognise, how many Nigerian herbal medicines, even though they are registered by NAFDAC (I have twenty-something herbal solutions registered with NAFDAC) does the medical doctors recommend for use in their practises? Are they prescribed in hospitals? We are enemies to ourselves because of pride and arrogance. Are hospitals using NAFDAC certified medicines in Nigeria?
So that’s what am saying. They only want to call a dog a bad name in order to crucify it.
My last question is, as the president of Traditional Medical Practitioners in Nigeria, can you categorically tell the world that we have Covid-19 cure in Nigeria?
Very well. The only thing is that when you say Covid-19 medicine, we have always had its medicine. It is an old disease, but Covid-19 is just a new name. There is no new sickness in the world. This very Covid-19 is called nwonwobuzeri in Esan, the sickness and is mysterious to know its cause. If a person nears a sufferer of the illness, he will catch the sickness. If children sleep in the same bed together, or if mother sleep with the children, after a while the mother will suffer it.
It is malaria remedy that is made complete, boiled and used as hydro-therapy. Hydro-therapy is when you steam the medicine, you cover yourself with thick clothe to inhale the steam from the medicine, then the evaporation of the boiled medicine will go into the blood metabolism of your body. It will neutralize the congealed cold, and you will sweat them out and become very okay.
The eyes that were red, the headache, the cough and cattarh will disappear. That is it. It’s called nwonwobuzeri, but there was no electronic media, there was no radio or television, there was no social media to create propaganda, highlight or exaggerate it. People treated and cured it, its not new. Traditional doctors should be invited and formed into a group. When this one came, we would have been with the government, but they exaggerated and brought so many stories. The story is that you cannot hold meeting above 20 people, all the states locked up, you cannot travel, then nobody should claim that he treated it. Nobody should also treat the case but refer to government. Who wants to become an enemy of the government?
Government is next to God so we are handcuffed. But if we continue to do that, even though the other countries have told their citizens to stay indoors and Nigeria wants to follow suit, Nigeria does not want to learn that we must not continue to be sheepish users of the inventions and medicines of the Western world. But it is a time for us to contribute to the inventions of the medicinal drugs that will heal mankind and improve the economical situation in the globe. If that is done, Nigeria will be better for it, and our people will be happy, so the president should form a research group which must be sponsored.