by Ayomide Ekerin
In hospitals and other such places of medical care, two things bring healing to a sick man — Doctors and drugs. Yes, the doctors will always give a disclaimer that they only care, it is God who heals; but you will not see them stop caring, waiting for God to heal. Even when the illness is terminal, they care till the end. That is why they will put a dying man on life support, waiting for the consent of his family before they take him off it.
Drugs, on the other hand, are the tools with which they care. You see, doctors know their onions. They know which drug will heal a patient. They know the ones that will add to the illness. They know the ones whose side effects outweighs its healing power. They know who makes which drug, and they won’t prescribe a drug they know next to nothing about, neither will they allow you use one under their watch. Except you are dealing with a quack doctor, of course.
It was, therefore, strange to hear the news that President Muhammadu Buhari is taking Nigerian-made drugs while under the watch of doctors in London. Although there has been no official news stating the nature of the president’s illness, we know that he has a serious health issue. Why else would he be spending so much time and resources in a London hospital?
So the news that Mr. President patronises made-in-Nigeria drugs is laughable because we have not heard of any locally-made and world acclaimed drugs for serious health conditions on the Nigerian medical landscape. And if there’s any, which lacks nothing else but world acclaim, the London doctors will not allow it.
Except maybe Mr. President has decided to go the traditional way. Are we talking about drugs like Agbo, Dogoyaro, Aporo, Awopa made by herbalists, native doctors and marabouts? If those are the drugs our dear President is consuming, then he should be on his way back from London, sooner than we expect.
You see, our local herbs will always hold a prime place when it comes to our health. Although, most of us look down on them these days, preferring orthodox drugs and supplements of the white man, forgetting that we “thrived” on these local concoctions in childhood. Mr. President can testify to that. The only snag about those concoctions was that they had no stable dosage; they still don’t.
So I wonder how much our president would be taking. I also wonder why he would travel all the way to London, only to be taking herbs exported from Nigeria, in fact, his backyard in Kastina. That his doctors are aware of it, will be another perpetual wonder. This is where all of us are right now. When it comes to the president’s health, we can only wonder.