Prominent traditional healer, Sekuru Banda has said it is critical to rope in indigenous knowledge systems in the fight against coronavirus.
The cultural guru’s comments come in the wake of myths from different schools of thought concerning the pandemic. He was speaking at a conference on indigenous knowledge management held in Harare yesterday to discuss ways of containing the pandemic
One conspiracy theory by Christians is that coronavirus is one of the signs of the end of times while another cites economic warfare between China and the United States of America. Extremists say fearing to be overtaken on the power of the economy by China, the US invented the disease in the laboratory is a biological warfare and vice versa.
Sekuru Banda said it has been scientifically proven that the disease is a zoonotic jump whereby the disease emanates from animals to humans.
“It is widely believed that the disease originated from Wuhan province of China where they have wet markets. In this province, Chinese stock animals from different parts of the world. These animals would have been illegally imported. From statistics, China was operating 28 000 wet markets across the country.
“The conditions in these wet markets are squalid for animal habitation. The firs SARS virus of 2003 originated from these wet markets and so did this coronavirus. Animal rights advocates refer to coronavirus as the pangolin’s revenge,” Sekuru Banda said.
The pangolin is the most widely, illegally trafficked wild animal. According to Ukrainian philosopher, Slavojzizek, the 2003 SARS virus can be traced to the Chinese wet markets.
Sekuru Banda said if an animal is kept under captivity, its immune system deteriorates; thereby creating a breeding ground for different viruses to thrive within its body.
He cited the fact that wild bats ended up infecting pangolins in the Chinese wet markets hence the birth of coronavirus.
The respected nature advocate is of the view that people should respect animal rights and God’s plan of creation.
“What was meant for the jungle must remain in the jungle. Coronavirus has given us an important lesson that we should be responsible in our pursuit of profits. The bundling of different species in one area is not only a Chinese problem. It is regrettable that here in Africa people co-habit with wild animals.
“In Zimbabwe other people keep broilers, quelea birds, rabbits or guinea fowl in their houses, In the process, they end up acquiring severe respiratory diseases from these animals. That’s why we have experienced bird and swine flu,” Sekuru Banda said.
He said the failure to respect the law of nature is a problem that traditional leaders are seeing.
“As traditional healers, we urge relevant authorities to take appropriate measures to curb such illicit activities. There is need to sensitise people on the root causes of coronavirus so that as a society we debunk conspiracy theories and take responsibility for the problems haunting us.”
Traditional healers are the custodians of flora and fauna. In their line of work they use animal spirits and plant-based medicine for healing people. Speaking on behalf of traditional healers worldwide, Sekuru Banda was of the view that the balance of nature must be respected t all times.
“If we work together and create a knowledge base around these issues, we can go a long way in fighting this pandemic and others to come. It is my mandate as a traditional healer to sensitise and inspire others to join in the fight against viral pandemics that threaten our being and becoming as humanity. Thus it is fundamental to embrace indigenous knowledge systems in fighting pandemics,” Sekuru Banda added.