Monday, 6 October 2014

BITTERKOLA

PROF. Adebukunola O. Adefule Ositelu is a consultant ophthalmologist at the College of Medicine University of Lagos (CMUL)/ Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH). Ositelu is akin to the mother of everyone at the Guinness Eye Centre, having played a pivotal role since the setting up of the department in the late 1970’s. She has previously held the post of head of department, and then moved up to becoming the Dean of the School of Clinical Sciences for the College of Medicine, University of Lagos. The school then became a Faculty, and she was the first Dean of the new Faculty of Clinical Sciences, overseeing 13 departments. She has since retired from these official roles, but continues to serve with passion as a contract Professor and a role model to the budding ophthalmologists and consultants within the department. She has also played a significant role in the creation of posts for ophthalmology subspecialists at the Guinness Eye Centre, with appointments of a retinal consultant and paediatric ophthalmology consultant over the past few years. Over the next few years, she envisions the Guinness Eye Centre to have two subspecialists for each subspecialty and for the Guinness Eye Centre to head towards becoming a renowned Institute of Ophthalmology. Ositelu who is also an ordained pastor is best known for her patented eye drops made with bitter kola for preventing blindness in patients with glaucoma. She told participants at an occasion organized by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), last week, to mark the 2014 African Traditional Day that she has got an Ewedu-based prevention/cure for the dreaded Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). CHUKWUMA MUANYA, KENECHUKWU EZEONYEJIAKU and PAUL ADUNWOKE were there. Excerpts:
Are you saying you have discovered a cure for EVD?
The Ebola infection that is ravaging the world now remains a mystery even to the scientists because all efforts to find a cure have been evasive. The virus, which causes this fever, attacks the cells of the body, replicates and multiplies in such body causing the entire cells to be infected. Contact with an infected persons or the fluid of his body could transfer the virus to the one who contacts and the process repeats itself.
   And you know, most of us don’t really eat monkeys, we don’t eat gorillas and we don’t eat bats; at least, down south here, may be some people do; but most of us don’t eat it. Those who eat bush meat, I’m not sure it’s gorillas and monkeys that they eat. I think, it became worrisome for us how we will be suffering from a disease transmitted through animals that we do not consume. We don’t even move with them because they are not pets.
   So, some group went into prayers; a particular one went into reservation to pray and after praying and pleading with God, something was released: that it is true it is a virus and at the same time, something simple can be released to us because we have everything, the only thing is that we don’t make use of them. We don’t care when we discover things; people don’t take it seriously, we look down on ourselves so much, we don’t value what we have.
   This was the thing that was released; that as simple as it is, it is potent enough to give resistance and immunity to the cells of the body against the virus. 
Why have you kept quiet until now?
   It was sent to The Guardian, Punch, The Nation and Thisday but none of them since July 25, 2014 acknowledged receiving it; and people are still travelling, looking for cure to the disease. Only recently, somebody died in LUTH, brought all the way from Jos. We don’t need to spread this thing. And the remedy is: take enough quantity of Ewedu, rinse and was it with liquid vinegar, then you blend it and cook with only drinkable water for five minutes. First thing in the morning, freshly made, just take 25cl of the herb in an empty stomach once a week for prevention as long as they still say there is Ebola in Nigeria. For cure, you take it daily for five to seven days.
   This confirms that the wisdom of man is foolishness before God and He only grants knowledge when He desires so to do for the benefit of mankind, whereas many believes that it is their ingenuity that grants them fame- this is underserved accord.
Has it been tested and confirmed with any Ebola patient?
  I don’t have Ebola and I don’t pray you have it; so who do you want me to test it with? They are doing experimental thing abroad and they are using it. It’s only here that we want to prove and make things difficult for ourselves. We know that skeptics would postulate and analyse, but the wisdom of God surpasses that of men and He as the creator of all things know what is good for men. 
   This was revealed by God to His people at a reservation after prayers, if you want, you take it, if you don’t want, you reject it. There is no cause for argument; the wisdom of God is more than any other person’s. He is the one who created all these things and He can reveal it to us as He wants. It’s a grace which I think everyone should embrace. Ewedu is what we all eat, but the way they told us to prepare it is very different from what we’ve been doing before because we use it as delicacy. But this time around, it is used as medicine, for prevention and cure.
   For those who are vomiting, you know, that’s a very late stage; you can embrace the prevention so that it won’t even get to us because this thing will increase your immunity and make your cells impregnable to those viruses so that you can be able to fight it should incase it comes to you. When the cells are immune to the virus, it becomes impossible for it to penetrate, infect and duplicate itself in such body. Since cells die and new ones are formed, it is therefore important and necessary that the consumption of this grace be made constant- at least once every week throughout the period of the infestation. The constant ingestion of this preparation blocks all passages of the virus into the cells of the body and you combine that with the hygiene: wash your hands and keeping a good environment.
   For those who are vomiting, it is going to help them; just a little bit at a time until they finish the 25cl. And they take it every day, for five days… For prevention, it’s once a week until they say the continent is clear of Ebola.  
What about the claims about bitter kola cure?
     Orogbo that is bitter kola is very good, it is the only drug that I am using for my eyes today; I have some of them here to show you. Not only that, there’s a reason why our people call it Orogbo, it has a meaning- it means Longevity. And my son incidentally had Apollo (redness of the eye that is conjunctivitis). He phoned me saying “my eyes are sticky, I am having fever, I have sore throat”, I said ‘ok, there is a drug on the shelf, please take one of it, it’s called bitter kola drops, just use it, keep your hands clean.’ This boy took the Orogbo bottle and used it and within two hours, he phoned me back and said that he has started to feel better. 
      When I came back, I now went; it was now the harmattan season; this harmattan season is when we have Apollo. Apollo is a virus. So I’ve used it, I had one in my bag that I was using for my own guard. One of the boys we went to visit had Apollo and all the boys in the school had Apollo. I just set them aside; I asked them who their teacher is? Nobody was looking after them. I took tissue paper and cleaned their eyes and started to drop the bitter kola solution into their eyes. I spent three hours on them; before I left them, they were all feeling better. I now made sure I sent more bottles to them so that they will use.
     It is sellable, it is not toxic and I will not be accused of exposing human beings to it because it is good for human consumption. So, it must be used freely among today’s family and in any ceremony, Orogbo is there apart from other kola nuts. The efficacy is anti-viral and it is already known. 
    Now, Orogbo is being used in America because of Ebola. Yes! That’s part of the experimental thing they are using and we are sitting here…what are we doing? It is unfortunate that we don’t believe in ourselves. I’m sorry, there’s a remedy for Ebola.
    We are very rich; in fact, we are very rich. We are more great and to be sought after. When I go out of the country and they ask me where I come from, I say I’m from Nigeria. Yes, I am proud to be a Nigerian anywhere, any day because we are blessed. The problems we are suffering from are self-inflicted. We are richly endowed in all aspects of life except in organisation and we are not thankful enough to God. We are created to lead the continent and the world at large but we prefer to roll in muddy waters. We need to rise from stupid floor mats, wickedness, selfishness, inequity, greed and self-inflicted problems.
What about the bitter kola drop for glaucoma?
      I got the mixture from one of my patients who I promised we would work on it. I can tell you authoritatively now that we have done extensive research on this extract as an eye drop and we are successfully using it in our clinic in successfully treating patients with glaucoma.
       The study by published recently in Middle East African Journal of Ophthalmology concluded: “Topical Garcinia kola 0.5 per cent aqueous eye drops are as effective as timolol maleate 0.5 per cent eye drops in lowering Intraocular Pressure (IOP) in newly diagnosed glaucoma and ocular hypertensive patients. The mean IOP reducing efficacy after six months of use was similar in both groups. Garcinia kola extract may represent an alternate topical medication for patient with open angle glaucoma and ocular hypertensives in a resource limited population.”
      The study is titled “Efficacy of Garcinia kola 0.5 per cent aqueous eye drops in patients with primary open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension.”    
        The other members of the research team include: Adebayo K Adefule from the Department of Ophthalmology, LUTH, Idi-Araba, Bernice O. Adegbehingbe, Olayinka O. Adegbehingbe, and Elsie Samaila from Departments of Surgery, (Ophthalmology Unit) and Orthopaedic Surgery and Traumatology, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, and Kehinde Oladigbolu of the Department of Surgery, National Eye Centre, Kaduna.
     Intraocular pressure (IOP) is the pressure within the eyeball as a result of the constant formation and drainage of the aqueous humour. It is the internal pressure of which allows the eye to hold on to its shape and function properly. Intraocular pressure is controlled primarily by the rate of secretion or rate of drainage of the aqueous humour. These will be building up pressure leading to increased risk of optic nerve damage, a pathological condition called glaucoma.
      Glaucoma is rated as the second leading cause of vision loss worldwide. It is also estimated that 66.8 million people are affected by glaucoma worldwide and 6.7 million are bilaterally blind because of the disease. It was said to affect individuals of all age groups but is more prevalent after the fourth decade of life.
       Glaucoma is a leading cause of irreversible blindness. The progression of this disease can be reduced or stopped by lowering IOP with medication and surgery. Among the several options available for medical therapy of elevated IOP, topical b-blockers and the prostaglandin F2รก analogs, such as latanoprost, are the most commonly prescribed first-line therapies?
         In Nigeria, the most commonly available IOP reducing agents are beta-blockers (mainly timolol maleate 0.5 per cent eye drops) and prostaglandins (mainly latanoprost 0.005 per cent). Latanoprost 0.005 per cent is more effective than timolol maleate 0.5 per cent in reducing diurnal IOP fluctuations. This is clinically important because optic nerve damage is accelerated by IOP fluctuations. 
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