Elephant dung could prevent Covid – researcher

By Hertta-Maria Amutenja

A traditional medicine researcher from the University of Namibiahas reinforced the assumption that elephant dung possibly prevents Covid-19 due to the fact that elephants “eat plants that have a lot of medical properties”.

The researcher Dr Charwan Iwanette Du Preez, said,“Elephant dung may indeed prevent coronavirus. These animals eat a lot of plants that could have properties to boost the immune system and prevent the virus from multiplying, which causes the symptoms to show.”

However, Du Preez was quick to add that it is not necessarily true or reliable and also difficult to know whether or not the dung can prevent Covid-19 without proper investigations.

“At this point we do not know what properties the dung has. There is no scientific evidence to prove it but if people believe in it, it most probably works,” she said.

The researcher’s comments come in the wake of reports that the sale of elephant dung as a cure for Covid-19 has skyrocketed, with prices going up drastically despite warnings from officials that the animal waste product does not treat the virus.

According to research, elephant dung, in some Namibian cultures is commonly used to cure headaches, nosebleeds, toothaches and other types of pain. Research further shows that the dung, which is a mixture of plant matter, herbs and leaves, has medical properties and is also used to allegedly ward off evil spirits.

Nonetheless Professor Filemon Amaambo, associate dean at the University of Namibia rubbished the claims and said they do not work on assumptions.

“We don’t buy evidence of ‘I think’ …  we do research and base theories on research,” said Amaambo.

With recent media reports stating that elephant dung sellers are inflating their prices; Confidente spoke to a businessman from Okahao, David Kambwa David, who is also selling the waste matter throughout the country. “I started selling it on a price of N$150 per kilogram, and the demand grew then I started charging N$500 per kilogram.”

David also said he has received positive feedback from the clients that he has sold the waste to.

“Even the elders believe in the product, I keep receiving calls every now and then,” he said.

He called on the government to consider doing thorough research on what elephant dung is capable of preventing.