Archbishop Samuel Kleda of Douala has claimed that a herbal potion he developed has saved thousands and “defeated Covid-19 in Cameroon”.
Speaking at a press conference on September 10, the 61-year-old archbishop said that “9,071 patients have benefited from the treatment both in Cameroon and abroad, including the United States, France, Belgium, Germany, Italy, Zambia and Gabon.”
A former president of the Cameroon Catholic Bishops’ Conference, Archbishop Kleda has headed the coastal diocese of Douala for over a decade and has practised traditional medicine for around thirty years.
He developed his “Elixir Covid” remedy for coronavirus earlier in the year using African medicinal plants, including Trichilia emetica and a variety of aloe vera.
Douala Archbishop, Samuel Kleda has publicly named his COVID-19 treatment.
In Douala today, he called the herbal treatments Elixir Covid and Adsak Covid.
Archbishop Kleda’s move comes days after meeting the PM who promised government support for the treatment.
— Mimi Mefo Info (@MimiMefoInfo) June 5, 2020
Prime Minister Joseph Dion Ngute met with the archbishop about his proposed treatment in May and invited him to speak at a special plenary session on traditional medicine the following month.
Prime Minister Ngute expressed his support for Archbishop Kleda’s work and tweeted that the government encourages “all efforts to develop an endogenous treatment for Covid-19.” Archbishop Kleda said that the Prime Minister had promised to study the treatment “to determine its toxicity and thus popularise it.”
The World Health Organization (WHO) has said that it “welcomes innovations” in traditional medicine for Covid-19 but that it only supports “scientifically-proven” herbal remedies. Whilst noting that “Africa has a long history of traditional medicine”, the WHO said that the medical community must still examine a new herbal treatment’s “efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials”.
Speaking to Voice of America, Dieudonne Kameni of the Cameroon Medical Council said that the archbishop’s treatment was “still at a preclinical testing stage and could not be scientifically called a cure for Covid-19”, adding that government hospitals providing authorised treatments remained “the only sure places Covid-19 could be treated.”
Cameroon’s Ministry of Public Health also released a statement warning people about traditional medicines being sold as coronavirus cures which have been used to exploit people.
Archbishop Kleda, however, has offered his “essential oils” treatment to coronavirus sufferers for free and the relative accessibility and affordability of such traditional medicines remains one of the main reasons for its popularity in Africa.
At the recent press conference, the archbishop also claimed that the “mixture is not toxic and does not produce any side effects. No patient has ever experienced any discomfort after taking the treatment.”
Insisting that “the treatment effectively heals the coronavirus with respect for standards and the manufacturing process,” the archbishop said that there were no reported deaths of coronavirus patients who have received his treatment. “Even the patients on respiratory assistance were saved,” he said.
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