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Top ten health-related claims we fact-checked in 2022

Since the beginning of the year 2020, DUBAWA has been fact-checking several health-related claims. 

Although claims about Covid-19 have been reduced, several health claims surfaced on different platforms, calling for fact-checks.

Here are some of the numerous health claims DUBAWA verified in 2022.

  1. Is it true these five home remedies trigger abortion or unwanted pregnancy?

A Facebook video showed that there are five home remedies to abort a pregnancy at home. Detailed research interviewing experts showed that three of the Facebook claims are false, while two are misleading claims. Read here.

An image of Aspirin pills.
  1. Does this fruit extract cure cancer?

A Tiktok video shared that a single injection of a berry found only in Australia’s far North is now a cure for many types of cancer. Although the aerial parts of soursop have proven to be effective against several types of cancer in laboratory and animal studies, it is yet to be tested on humans. Hence, the claim is misleading. Read here

An image of the berry fruit.
  1. Big eaters cannot have peptic ulcer

People have come to believe they can’t have peptic ulcers if they eat very well, but DUBAWA found that while a poor eating habit triggers peptic ulcers, it is not the cause. So you can be a big eater and still have a peptic ulcer. This long-held belief is misleading. Read here.

An image of peptic ulcer in the body.
  1. Is HIV linked with COVID-19 vaccines and monkeypox vaccines?

In August 2022, a viral WhatsApp message and image linked the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) to COVID-19 and smallpox vaccines. The message claimed that COVID-19 vaccines contain HIV, which is the reason for the recent surge in HIV infection.

Another viral image alleged that The Times report claimed the World Health Organization (WHO) injected Africans with over 50 million smallpox vaccines in 1987, which triggered AIDS.

We found these claims to be baseless and reoccurring even after other fact-checking organisations have verified them. Mr Sergio of the WHO alliance also confirmed this claim is old and has been debunked by Full Fact, another fact-checking organisation. Read here

An image of a covid-19 vaccine.
  1. Did West Africa’s monkeypox variant originate from Nigeria?

Russian defence ministry claimed that the West African Monkeypox variant originated in Nigeria. This claim is misleading as we found no WHO report categorising the West African variant of Monkeypox originated from Nigeria. Read more here

An image of a man infected with monkeypox.
  1. Buhari’s figure on Nigeria’s vaccination rate

According to a statement in October by Femi Adesina, the Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to the president, President Muhammadu Buhari said that 38.7 million, representing 35 per cent of total eligible Nigerians targeted for COVID-19 vaccination, have been fully vaccinated against the virus. 

Contrary to this, data from the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHCDA) showed the total number of Nigerians who had been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be over 45 million, representing 40.3 per cent of the targeted population. Read more here

An image of President Muhammadu Buhari.
  1. Is it true coconut water stops diarrhoea?

A Facebook post by Aduramingba Herbal Remedies claimed coconut water stops diarrhoea. Our findings showed this claim is misleading because coconut water is only used in relation to diarrhoea for rehydration. Read here.

An image of coconut and its water.
  1. Does drinking water while eating pose a danger to the body?

A Twitter user, Sirwoley (@SirWoley), claimed drinking water while eating is not good for the body. DUBAWA’s findings, through studies and experts’ positions, show that drinking water while eating is not bad for the body. Read more here

An image of a girl drinking water while eating.
  1. Is there a recently discovered breakthrough cure for HIV? 

A Twitter user, Pride (@masi_nonxuba), claimed HIV now has a cure after using a novel stem cell transplant approach. We, however, found that there is so far no proven cure for HIV and the stem-cell transplant from CCR5 donors is only a promising prospect. This makes the claim misleading. Read more.

An image of the HIV test tool.

An image of the HIV test tool.

  1. Can the consumption of zobo lead to miscarriage?

A health influencer, Dr Udomoh, claimed drinking zobo (Hibiscus sabdariffa) leads to miscarriage. Experts say although studies on this so far have been on animals, there is a need to take caution with its consumption during pregnancy while human studies are being awaited.

An image of the zobo drink in the preparation process.
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