The Minister for Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said there is no scientific evidence of Garcinia kola, popularly known as bitter kola curing or preventing Ebola virus disease.
The research work that people are laying claims, to according to the minister is inconclusive.
It would be recalled that in 1999, a former Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and Professor of Pharmacognosy, Maurice Iwu, alongside some American researchers conducted a research that showed that extract from bitter cola tend to neutralize the effects of virus. But the outcome of that research work has not been scientifically confirmed to be true or not.
He said, “Information that is being circulated especially through the social media and the rest of the internet tend to suggest that because right now, there is no known vaccine for Ebola Virus Disease and there is no known specific drug as effective against EVD. If we don’t streamline a lot of these information, the unwary will become so vulnerable. People have said that they know that a fruit is sufficient to cure EVD.
“As I speak to you now, there is no proof yet of any such fruit. I repeat, there is no proof yet of any fruit.
“One that has been mentioned is that just keep chewing bitter kola and you will be alright. As the Minister of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria I say that right now, there is no scientific yet to suggest that if you just eat bitter kola you will get to prevent the disease or where you have it, it will help to cure it.
“However, we are aware that in 1999, Prof. Maurice Iwu worked along with an administration in United States of America and conducted research which at the level of the laboratory is what we call in-vitro research which means it is still in the test tube as it were and it is not in any living body which we call in-vivo.
“This shows that some extract they had obtained from the bitter kola which is common in West Africa and in Nigeria and which we use for so many purposes in Nigeria including social reasons tend to have some activities against the virus. But that research was not concluded and therefore as at today, there is no evidence to link that as a cure or preventive measure against Ebola Virus Disease.”