It is unfortunate that the Head of the Douala Diocese, Archbishop Kleda has been confronted with questions, why he, as an Evangelist will involve in medicinal plant research which has led to the discovery of a cure for a raging pandemic. We only hope that whoever might be asking this question do so, with the joy in their hearts that the man of God has made a break-through on a very difficult ground. Otherwise, we will be forced to hold that in every human action, there are bound to be questions to be asked which of course, is the natural tendency of the human mind to doubt the reality, no matter how glaring that reality may present itself.
In the case of Archbishop Kleda’s protracted research, and successful discovery of a cure, which incidentally coincided with the greatest challenge humanity has faced, we can only give thanks to God Almighty, for giving him the wisdom and patience to endure the pains and challenges in the process of his more than thirty years of hard work.
We can draw many conclusions from the recent press conference organised by the Archbishop in Douala, where the man of God vigorously defended the efficacy of his discovery of a concoction of herbs which is said to be curing cases of the raging Covid-19 pandemic. One of such conclusions is that the Archbishop could not have opted to spend all these long years to find a cure for an epidemic which no one expected or foresaw without God’s hand in it.
The other conclusion is that as the man of God has explained, one reason for evangelisation is to fight and overcome the enemy of man as Jesus himself did when he evangelised. We therefore want to believe that Archbishop Kleda was all along following the footsteps of Jesus in the mission of evangelisation which must have surprised many when he broke the news at the press conference that, his discovery, since April 14, has cured at least 3.000 cases who, till date have not complained of any side effects of the treatment. Nor has there been any reported toxicity, or even deaths.
However, this is where our problem with the true number of contracted cases, those who have been cured and have gone back home as well as those still under treatment lies. The official figures of contracted cases given by government as at the end of last week above 10.000, with about 7.000 already cured and gone home. If the 3.000 cases successfully cured by Archbishop Kleda’s cure are added to the figures released by government, then there is certainly a problem of actually accounting for the number of cases. We think this is certainly not the best way of handling a situation such as this, in order to give hope for the desperate population.
After what must have been concluded after the meeting between the Prime Minister and Archbishop Kleda, the follow up of which was the press conference organised by the Archbishop, one would have expected that there will be some coordination between government and the Kleda group in putting the figures together for a better understanding of the true situation. This we think will help avoid contradictions and will give more assurance to the population.
However, if all goes well with Archbishop Kleda’s cure, it is obvious that the Kleda solution will once and for all open a new chapter in the protracted history of the contemptuous assessment by western scientists and researchers of the African medicinal plant research capabilities and their accompanying results. Let the western scientists and researchers accept that, there can be no monopoly of wisdom due them only and that Africa is beginning to rise up to the challenge. What we all must not shy away from is the fact that we have a common enemy facing us with all its might, and this leaves mankind with no alternative than for us to concert our efforts and resources against the common enemy.