The use of ‘Agbo’, herbal concoction, has continued to gain grounds among some people in Lagos State as a preventive medicine against contracting coronavirus especially in Oshodi.
The consumers of the ‘Agbo’ believe that taking the herbal concoction will either protect them from contracting coronavirus or cure them of malaria which has the same symptoms as COVID-19.
It was gathered that many of them have avoided going to the hospital for testing due to the fear of being tested positive for COVID-19, while some complain of lack of funds to foot medical bills.
This has given rise to the frequent use of herbs as an alternative to the treatment of malaria and to prevent them against the prevailing COVID-19.
Investigation revealed that the ingredients used to make the ‘agbo’ include lemon grass and lime which are cooked together and sold to consumers between N100 and N200 per cup.
One of the Agbo sellers who spoke to newsmen, Kehinde Ogundiya, said: “We heard that coronavirus has the same symptoms as malaria and people patronize us more to prevent themselves from the disease believing that if they cure malaria, they have cured coronavirus.”
Ogundiya explained that the herbs have been helpful to people who lack the financial capacity to go to the hospital for the treatment of malaria, although she could not assure this reporter that the herbal concoction truly prevents coronavirus.
Another herbal medicine seller, Mrs. Balogun Idowu at Odunbakun Street, Oshodi disclosed that people were afraid of visiting the hospital “because they heard that any sickness is tagged as coronavirus in the hospital once the symptoms look like malaria so, they prefer to use ‘agbo’ to visiting the hospital.”
Some of the herbal concoction users also spoke to newsmen, giving their reasons for taking agbo as a preventive medicine against contracting coronavirus instead of visiting hospital.
One of them, Ramoni Bello said: “It is not every disease that the doctors can cure through the use of injection, our forefathers used herbs to cure so many diseases and it’s still effective now. For me, herb is gbogbonise (cure of all ailments) because it flushes out every disease from the system, especially when taken before eating anything in the morning.”
Olatunbosun Lasisi added: “Agbo is very good for coronavirus ailment. It has the same symptoms as malaria such as headache, fever, stooling, and body pains.”
He said with frequent use of herbs and cleanliness, one can stay safe from the prevailing disease.
This development has been on despite the warning by medical experts against self-medication, especially as the world is still looking for a viable medicine to cure coronavirus.
Experts have said that the only preventive measure for now is to comply with guidelines such as keeping social distancing, use of face masks while in public, regular washing of hands and the use of alcohol based hand sanitizers.
Globally, there has not been a confirmed medicine or herbs for the cure of COVID-19, as all the proposed ones are still under trial.
Based on this, governments at all levels have continued to enlighten residents about the effects of coronavirus, and giving guidelines to curtail community spread.
The Medical Doctor in charge of Oshodi COVID-19 Sample Collection Centre, Dr. Baqiah Nojimudeen-Yesufu, who termed the act of patronizing the herbal concoction as ignorance of the people, said governments need to intensity awareness programmes at the grassroots, emphasizing that many people are still ignorant of the effects of coronavirus, hence the reason for the increase in the positive cases reported daily in Lagos.