As the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic spreads ‘unabated,’ people continue to take unproven Covid-19 therapies.
These unproven therapies are shared in both offline and online spaces where people tell each other what remedies to take to fight off Covid-19.
Some of these unproven therapies include “drinking 35 percent of hydrogen peroxide.”
Hydrogen peroxide is a peroxide and oxidising agent with disinfectant, antiviral and anti-bacterial activities.
Upon rinsing, gargling or topical application, hydrogen peroxide exerts its oxidising activity and produces free radical that lead to oxidative damage to proteins and membrane lipids, which may inactivate, destroy pathogens and prevent the spread of infection.
It has been noted that the fear of Covid-19 and a ‘desperate; need to do something especially when patients are very ill, is pushing people to try these unproven therapies, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) advises against.
The WHO regional office for Africa, noted that fake news, social media and internet searches are especially problematic as they fuel the use of these unproven treatments.
“It is difficult to estimate how widespread the phenomenon is. Many medical products are purchased outside of formal pharmacies and there is no documentation of their use. It is thus difficult to confirm if they are being used for Covid-19,” WHO Africa has said.
The health organisation also expressed concern on the publication of poorly conducted “studies” especially those that are not adequately reviewed or published “in context” or studies that get published in journals that are not considered reliable as well as studies whose results are overstated or misinterpreted by the reader.
“Small studies that have limited participants and studies that don’t compare treatments to the best available ones also add to the problem. This results in a waste of resources, loss of faith in the medical system and gives false hopes while providing no improvement in illness,” WHO Africa pointed out.