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University don faults global strategy in fight against COVID-19

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A PROFESSOR of Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) Peter-Jazzy Ezeh has faulted the current global approach to the fight against COVID-19 pandemic.

Ezeh, a former head of Sociology and Anthropology department at UNN and  President of the Ethnological and Anthropological Society of Nigeria (EASON) noted that instead of the currentl rush for vaccines, the world should fully employ inter-disciplinary research to understand the new disease.

He spoke on Wednesday at an international conference of anthropologists at the University of Namibia (UNAM), Windhoek, Namibia.

Ezeh said some official reactions to the new disease were driven by panic and other non-medical factors even when the nature of the virus and how it spread was not yet fully understood when the medical authorities rushed into vaccines.

He said, “There are claims that ethnomedicine is effective in fighting the disease. Have such claims been thoroughly investigated, and if indeed they are found to be credible, must the world continue to stick to the Hobson choice of vaccines of the Western-style medical model?” He asked.

He suggested research on why the disease spread faster in specific environments than in others. “If such an observation is correct, it may be helpful if the factors that slow down the spread in those areas can be harnessed to help those in the areas where the spread is rapid.”

He also said that claims of cure and prophylactics from practitioners of ethnomedicine in such countries as Nigeria and Madagascar were ignored by European and American pharmaceutical establishments and wondered why there seemed to be desperation to promote vaccines.

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In his words, “There are claims that ethnomedicine is effective in fighting the disease. Have such claims been thoroughly investigated, and if indeed they are found to be credible, must the world continue to stick to the Hobson choice of vaccines of the Western-style medical model?” he asked.

According to the don, responses to the disease also suggested extra-medical impacts that required investigations by specialists in other academic fields.

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