Sat | Aug 8, 2020

Don’t use bush medicine for dengue, warns Tufton

Published:Saturday | December 14, 2019 | 12:07 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton addressing a town hall meeting in Negril, Westmoreland, on Thursday. Dengue was among the issues discussed.
Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton addressing a town hall meeting in Negril, Westmoreland, on Thursday. Dengue was among the issues discussed.

WESTERN BUREAU:

While dengue remains a major health scare across the island, Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton is urging Jamaicans not to seek to self-treat with herbal remedies but to seek treatment from trained medical professionals.

Tufton said that while herbs held medicinal value, persons suffering with symptoms of dengue should not seek relief from remedies like the papaya leaf, the latest hot topic.

“I’m not suggesting that those (the home remedies) don’t have healing properties or medicinal qualities. The challenge is what other qualities they have and whether it’s appropriate to solving the problem at that particular point in time,” said the minister, who was addressing Thursday’s town hall meeting in Negril, Westmoreland, where the dengue fever was discussed extensively.

Dengue has claimed at least 46 lives in Jamaica this year, and there have been more than 6,000 notifications of the mosquito-borne disease.

Dr Janice Simmonds Fisher, who operates the Bio-regeneration Integrated Medical Centre, recently told The Gleaner that the use of papaya for relief from dengue-related symptoms have been known for some time.

“It is fairly well established. A lot of the research comes out of Asia, but it has been demonstrated over again,” said Simmonds Fisher.

However, Tufton has warned that self-medication for dengue may carry serious risks.

“Don’t try bush medicine before you see the doctor, and let the doctor direct you whether the bush medicine or something else should be tried,” said Tufton.

“What we’ve done is to perfect the art of trying to apply our own prescription using our limited pharmacy, the medicine that’s normally located in the bathroom, to treat illness.”

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