The Ebola outbreak is putting plenty of people on edge and creating problems. Now we have faith healers saying they are treating it. GREAT! THIS IS ALL WE NEED!
African governments are doubling down on efforts to contain the widening Ebola outbreak in West Africa, which also involves combating rumors and falsehoods about the disease.
But to tackle the dangerous and potentially deadly rumor mill, a government official in Lagos state has issued a stern warning: Pastors claiming to have cured Ebola could face jail time, according to CAJ News Africa:
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Aderemi Ibirogba, specifically advised the citizenry to be wary of the activities of alleged fraudsters who were reportedly making spurious claims about their ability to provide cure for the deadly virus.
He called on those who wanted to rip off members of the public to desist from such claims of cure or risk arrest and prosecution.
For example, earlier this week, a Nigerian pastor, Ituah Ighodalo, wrote a Facebook post that highlighted a “solution to Ebola!”
The post — which was factually incorrect — was focused on the story of a Canadian-American Pentecostal pastor and faith healer by the name of John G. Lake, who operated a ministry in Africa in the early 1900s.
Pastor Ighodalo’s dangerous statements were noted here:
He said that God’s “anointing” and the “living words of Jesus,” were all that are needed to cure the deadly disease,” adding that mere laying of hands on those afflicted with the incurable Ebola virus was all that was required to liberate them.
Laying on of hands may be the exact WORST thing to do.
Sadly, many people do believe that simple faith can heal and follow the pastor’s words.
The Washington Post article notes that churches, healing houses and traditional healers can play an important role in monitoring the communities and then alerting public health officials to potential Ebola cases. Now, Nigerian officials have to take sharp measures to warn them not to try healing Ebola patients themselves. Many cases will go unreported due to the poor or nonexistent health care system in this part of the world, causing the infection to spread. This is the largest, both in numbers and geography, Ebola outbreak health officials have seen. Fruit-eating bats may be spreading the virus, eating the fruit that people are eating, transmitting saliva. Then, the virus is transmitted person-to-person.
Ebola first appeared in 1972 in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. There is no cure but patients may survive with intensive supportive care. About 60% survive.
Due to low rates of education and the poor health system, volunteers have a hard time getting information out about the disease and how its spreads. Some appear to be contracting it after preparing bodies in traditional ways for funerals.
Here are other stories related to misinformation about Ebola.
In Liberia, the government is informing people there is NO known cure or vaccine and to reject claims from some who say they have cures such as pills, injections or herbs. They are encouraged to report these individuals.
IN THE MIDST of the outbreak, there are some unscrupulous individuals who are claiming that the ‘Garcinia Kola’ otherwise known as Bitter Kola is the cure for Ebola. Some of these individuals are also going around administering fake vaccine which they said could contain the deadly virus.
CALL ON the public not to listen to any information from unknown individuals or groups that bitter kola or vaccine can cure the Ebola virus.Those are false information and only intended to give our people false hope. Only information provided by the Ministry of Health and partners should be embraced by the public.
Many fringe sites have posts that claim that certain natural cures have been found for similar haemorrhagic fever outbreaks. None of these have been tested to see if they are safe or work and should not be trusted. Even though several local news pieces and blogs note Bitter Kola as a means to slow Ebola, (A folk remedy for killer Ebola) I can not find that this research is verified. Therefore, this kola is NOT considered a viable cure.
Many posters on fringe sites also claim homeopathy works. HOMEOPATHY CURES NOTHING.
To trust in these baseless “cures” makes people feel like they are doing something but they are seriously misled and may overlook the only known way to stop the spread, strict prevention techniques.