June 16, 2020 / 2:09 PM / 25 days ago

Cameroon archbishop says treating COVID-19 with plant-based remedy

DOUALA (Reuters) - A Catholic archbishop in Cameroon says he has developed two plant-based remedies for COVID-19 which are given free to those who test positive for the respiratory disease.

Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala diocese, who has practiced herbal medicine for several years, declined to give the composition of the two products, called “Elixir Covid” and “Adsak Covid”.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has said plant-based therapies touted as possible treatments must be tested for efficacy and side effects, and has urged caution over misinformation, especially on social media, about the effectiveness of certain remedies.

It fears products that have not been robustly investigated could put people in danger, give them a false sense of security and distract from preventive measures.

Despite the WHO’s cautions, so-called natural cures are already widely distributed in Cameroon and Madagascar.

Kleda said he had wanted to find a treatment for what he called a ‘war’ decimating the world.

“A virus cannot defeat the world in this way. This is what prompted me to put together the medicine,” Kleda told Reuters in his office.

He claims 3,000 COVID-19 patients have been cured with the remedies and he met Cameroon’s Prime Minister Dion Ngute at the end of May to present his remedy, on the instructions of the country’s president.

Cameroon has recorded one of the highest number of coronavirus cases in the sub-Sahara Africa region. It hit the 10,000 cases milestone on Monday, with 277 deaths and remains one of the continents hotspot for the pandemic, the WHO said.

Reporting by Josiane Kouagheu; Writing by Bate Felix; Editing by Alexandra Hudson

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