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Thursday, April 28, 2011

MKUNDE CHACHAGE ON A "TECHNICAL REPORT" ON BABU OF LOLIONDO'S "CURE"

A TECHNICAL REPORT ON MIRACLE CURE PRESCRIBED BY REV. AMBILIKILE MWASUPILE [sic] IN SAMUNGE VILLAGE, LOLIONDO, ARUSHA is circulating online. The report bears the names of Hamisi M. Malebo Dip. Ed (Sc), B.Sc (Hons), M.Sc, PhD) & Zakaria H. Mbwambo M.Pharm, PhD as its authors. They are respectively based in the Department of Traditional Medicine at the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR) and in the Institute of Traditional Medicine at Muhimbili University of Health and Allied Sciences(MUSCH). Its title has made me curious to read the content as it states clearly that it is a report written by our scientists on the take that science has to give about this MIRACLE cure that Tanzanians and beyond have been mesmerized by.

If I understood correctly, the report’s main objectives were to provide advice on the basis of their field and desk research on the safety and efficacy of Babu’s remedy; and if at all the ethno-medicinal claims regarding this remedy are true.

The authors suggest that the plant used in making Babu’s medicine-Engamryaki which is scientifically known as Carissa edulis is safe to use and the dosage used by Babu is below toxic levels. Furthermore, they infer that the plant has several properties that support the ethnomedicinal claims of the use of it in the management of diseases that Babu claims to treat. What surprises me is that all these conclusions they came up with are only based on the literature review of scientific data that's available regarding this plant; there isn’t a single finding that mentions what scientific experiments their group performed to back up their report despite the fact that they took specimens from Babu precisely for that reason!

I am not saying that their report is not useful; I am just wondering whether or not it would have been more convincing if we had some real scientific data from them to substantiate what others have done elsewhere. After all, scientific research at best of times is mostly about validating and adding on to what others have done.

Nonetheless, it’s a well written report and I trust that the literature review of the science behind the plant was done with a critical art of paper reviewing and not otherwise. I would,however, be eagerly waiting to read their future report on their own basic research conducted amongst other recommendations they gave.

* Mkunde Chachage is a Biomedical Researcher with interest in Immunology of Infectious disease-focusing on HIV coinfections

2 comments:

Anonymous April 30, 2011 at 11:13 PM  

IT IS ASTONISHING THE WAY YOU ARE ARGUING! IT MEANS YOU ARE IN FAVOUR OF DUPLICATION OF RESEARCH FINDINGS. WHAT THEY DID IS BASED ON GOOD SCIENCE THAT, BEFORE YOU EMBARK ON SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATION YOU NEED THOROUGH LITERATURE REVIEW TO ASSESS THE TIDES AS WHETHER THERE IS ANY GAP IN THE AVAILABLE QUESTIONS SPECIFICALLY TO BE ANSWERED. TO ME, THIS IS A CRITICAL STEP AND WHAT THEY HAVE REPORTED HAS JUST OPENED OUR EYES. LET US THINK TOGETHER FOR THE LOGICAL NEXT STEPS, MYSELF I CONCUR WITH THEIR PROPOSITIONS

Anonymous September 1, 2011 at 5:08 PM  

The report is poorly written. Nobody is interested in copy and paste without even acknowledging that the photos were taken from You Tube (i.e the authors of this report need to learn about copyright issues!). Didn’t they have their own camera? Anyway, that was not my main point. My basic question is on how the researchers drew their conclusions and recommendations. How comes the terms of references (i.e. they had 4 terms of references) are not correlating with the conclusion? It is absurd to see someone is recommending the standardization and formulation of dosage form of this crude product for human use without having an idea if it is working or not. I would like to conclude by saying that this was an unprofessional recommendation to the Government.

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