COVID-19, the novel coronavirus disease is currently dictating how people all over the world go about their everyday living. While some nations are easing down on their lockdown restrictions because there’s been a drop in new cases, others are extending theirs further — just to be safe from a resurgence of COVID-19 deaths.
Africa, like the rest of the world, has been affected by the pandemic. However, the expectations of observers that the continent would be the worst hit in terms of the death toll has not turned out to be true. In fact, life for most has been as normal as ever in these times.
Witnessing the devastation this coronavirus disease has caused in more developed countries, compared to the ‘kid gloves’ it seems to be treating Africans with, leaves a question: what is keeping these Africans safe? And since most of our governments haven’t really done anything significant aside the partial lockdowns, I have a theory. And this theory is all about our diet. I crave your indulgence, please.
Also read: Black seed as an immune system booster.
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Are the low COVID-19 deaths in Africa due to our diet?
Putting aside the poverty and systemic failures that Africa has become noted for, one thing we can boast about, at any point in time, is the quality of food we eat. Fresh from the farm or backyard garden, right to the cooking pot and into our bellies — Africans eat some of the best organic produce on earth.
Now, good food is necessary for building a robust immune system. When your food is organic and hasn’t suffered exposure to so much stripping in the name of processing, you’re sure to be getting better nutrition. No, I’m not implying that people in the worst-hit countries are malnourished; far from that. Instead, I’m saying our dieting also plays a medicinal role here.
Here in Ghana, as well as in Nigeria, the wonders of pepper soup and bitter-leaf soup are well noted. Are you experiencing fever? Have any of those two, and you’ll feel better when you wake up in a few hours.
Also read: The hypocrisy of COVID-19 stigmatization.
A look at malaria
In sub-Saharan Africa, malaria is a common ailment, especially within rural communities. It remains a killer disease when left untreated. The number of Africans who fall ill to malaria, and recover from the disease each month, is high. Now, this is a disease that for many Westerners, would probably need lots of vaccination and medication.
Malaria for most Americans and other Westerners means certain death. For the regular African, however, malaria is just an inconvenience which slows you down for a week at most.
It is through these glasses that I view the low COVID-19 deaths in Africa as being a matter of disease versus a general population whose immune systems have experienced much worse and ‘can’t really be bothered’ by this novel coronavirus disease.
Madagascar takes the lead
While the rest of the world is waiting on the global elite for a vaccine to be developed in order to prevent more COVID-19 deaths, a tiny off-shore African country, Madagascar, is taking the lead in providing an indigenous solution to the pandemic.
The country’s COVID-Organics is a product of artemisia, a plant that was first imported into the island nation in the 1970s from China to treat malaria — a disease against which it has proven efficacy. According to the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, which developed the beverage, COVID-Organics is a mixture of artemisia and other indigenous herbs.
As at the time of writing this, Madagascar has reported 149 cases with no fatalities. They must be doing something right. And yes, of course, the WHO has come out to sound a caution against accepting COVID-Organics as a cure, but, no one said it was a cure. It’s only strengthening the immune system so that come what may, the individual would survive.
The Chinese had the scariest number of COVID-19 deaths until America overtook them. While it may be true that China hasn’t been straight with the rest of us on this pandemic, we can’t deny what they’ve done to ensure the pandemic didn’t wipe out a significant number of the population.
A question we should be asking is this: did China have a vaccine with which it defeated COVID-19? If the answer is ‘no’ then, the world should embrace herbal or alternative medicines for dealing with the coronavirus disease.
Africa collectively, has fewer COVID-19 deaths — compared to the developed world — and a major reason is that there’s something good in what we eat.
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