BY LESLEY FOINAGWA
WITH an estimated 10 percent of its population not fully vaccinated and rural healthcare services under increasing pressure, West Kwaio communities have turned to a traditional herb known for its bitter taste to treat mild Covid-19 cases.
Since last year’s invasion of coronavirus in the West Kwaio region of Malaita province, the distressed communities, who cannot afford treatment of COVID-19 have turned to using Andrographis Paniculata (King of Bitter Herb) to treat the deadly disease.
The herb is quite popular in some parts of the Solomon Islands especially for its immunity-boosting capabilities to treat Malaria cases.
The Takwaisae community in West Kwaio has raised the issue recently with Sunday Isles. They are adamant that although you don’t get vaccinated, the herb can cure symptoms related covid-19
Francis Maefai, a Takwaisae community elder said in rural areas of West Kwaio, medicines are not enough to treat the majority of the region’s population.
“At the end of the day, we have no option but to turn to herbs, which we believed the country’s medical experts say is risky to health.
“Our community is adopting these desperate measures after we have previously seen an increase in covid-like symptoms in our community.
“The preparation for the treatment is to take 5 to 10 leaves of the herb (it depends), all boiled in water, pour it in a cup or drinking bottle and can be taken any time of the day to treat covid related symptoms.
“The herbal treatment can stop the symptoms of Covid-19 from worsening,” Francis said.
Sunday Isles also understands that since the global spread of the covid and its outbreak in the country, medical experts have said there is a lack of scientific evidence to show that the herbs are an effective remedy for Covid-19.