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The FactChecker

Ewedu as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ herbal remedy

By Lateef Sanni

Since the novel coronavirus hit Nigeria in February 2021, there has been an abundance of information regarding how the virus spreads and its treatments. In response, Dubawa has consistently churned out fact-checks around the misinformation accompanying the pandemic. 

Despite constant reminders that there was no cure for the COVID-19, fake news vendors with the aid of the Internet managed to propagate the efficacy of different cures against the virus. One of these is the claim that Ewedu, a local vegetable also known as the Jute plant and scientifically called Corchorus olitorius, cures COVID-19.

Once during the Ebola outbreak, the Nigerian government cautioned its citizens against the hot water and salt bath which spread across the country like a wildfire. More recently, the effect of disseminating these fake messages was evident when chloroquine was announced as a COVID-19 cure. 

Over time, fact-checkers have had to debunk different claims on the potency of Ewedu in curing certain diseases. One time in 2017 the Ewedu leaf was circulated as a cure for Ebola, in 2019, news about Its efficacy in the treatment of cancer surfaced and as the second wave of the coronavirus hit the world,  there was another claim of ewedu’s efficiency in curing COVD-19.

Ebola and Ewedu

During the Ebola outbreak in Nigeria in 2014, the media space received several contents suggesting different cures and treatments for the deadly virus which is capable of causing intense internal bleeding.

Articles suggesting Ewedu as Ebola cure were  circulated with headlines such as: “How I discovered ewedu cure for Ebola,”  “Ewedu can cure, prevent Ebola.” The source in these articles was a professor in ophthalmology at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital named Adebukola Adefule-Ositelu. Continue reading here

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Tip Of The Week


There’s precious little that we can do about the barrage of misinformation that we see daily, but there’s a lot we can do together if we learn to identify suspicious claims in the news and refrain from fuelling the fire by spreading them! Here are our top picks of likely-to-be-false news which [sadly] couldn’t be fact-checked.

“Fulani herdsmen kidnappers arrested by soldier along Ife –Ibadan road” – SOURCE: Viral Whatsapp Video 

A video showing the mass assault of some unidentified men by a group of uniform men came with a caption suggesting that soldiers have arrested some “Fulani herdsmen kidnappers” along Ife –Ibadan road. Further, the post says the soldiers had posed as passengers in a commercial vehicle to catch the alleged perpetrators.  

Questions to ask yourself: Who is the source? How credible is he/she? Which credible platform has published this story? Is this a new video, a recycled or recirculated one? Is this a video taken out of context? 

What you should do: Verify the content of the video and refrain from sharing the post until proper verification has been achieved.

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