GUSII STAR

Serving The People

Importance of boosting immunity system during covid 19.

4 min read

A fruit vendor displaying fruits in Kisii town , it has been said that fruits boost immune more so during covid 19 period [photo courtesy ]

By Gusii star team

Like their counterparts elsewhere globally, Kisii County residents are learning from experts on corona-virus whose community spread rate is alarming in the country.

There is a strong correlation between the virus’s attack on the human body and the latter’s immune system even as the residents grappled with the pandemic.

From available expert knowledge, the highly contagious covid19 virus species infects humans through the upper respiratory tract and can be life threatening after a 14 days incubation period.

According to World Health Organization (WHO), 81% of the infected experience mild symptoms of the disease while  14% others  have moderate.

The infected in this category have  strong body immunity are youths and are generally healthy. They do not require hospitalization and can go about their routine activities in the community.

It is advisable that they seclude themselves from the community or are isolated by the authorities as they wait for the virus to shed off.

But 5% of the infected present severe symptoms and require urgent hospitalization including being put on life-saving machines at Intensive Care Units.

The vulnerable comprise the  over 55 years old  with chronic ailments that compromise their immune system.

They are encouraged to take extra caution not to contact the virus by observing containment measures in force.

Social  distancing, washing and sanitizing hands together with open surfaces and wearing face masks are the imperatives for them.

The infected exhibiting mild and moderate signs, are  the most dangerous in transmission of the disease.

According to Dr. Richard Onkware, they are asymptomatic, and should be quarantined.

Dr.Onkware who is also county director of Public Health stresses on the urgent need for the residents to boost their immunity as one way of resisting the covid19 attack.

This is possible owing to plenty foodstuffs required for a balanced diet and a youthful population that is an advantage.

Onkware, observes the residents are educated on best practices in raising the foodstuffs and feeding methods to avert low immunity and malnutrition.

He, however, faults some caretakers for selling the recommended foodstuffs only to go in for  those with low nutrients especially in regard to  children.

The infected who have underlying factors are advised to stick on the doctors’ prescriptions in managing the conditions to deter the coronavirus spread to the lower respiratory tract.

The county director, however ,feels  it is not economical to establish  the coronavirus status in the area through mass  as opposed to targeted testing.

Governor James Ongwae discloses that the current proven  cases of the virus were under  a single digit and that those who had  undergone  medication have since proved negative.

Ongwae warned  the residents  against  stigmatization  but to accept them into the community.

A survey on local foodstuffs and vegetable vendors indicated they have knowledge on their nutritional value in the human body.

Majority of the interviewees  including Winfridah Nyanchama,a vendor of  Managu, understood what the  vegetable  contributed to the body’s immune system and nourishment.

Judy Gesare sells kales and green bell paper  which according to nutritionists released triple vitamin ‘ C’ to the body.

The sick reportedly buy for home consumption  a variety of  local vegetables from 60 year old Rose Kerubo, to relief their conditions.

She explains in order to attain the required dietary  effect, the vegetables are mixed before they are cooked.

Nemuel Mwalimu, introduced an intriguing angle to the foodstuffs by displaying his  mastery in the foodstuffs  medicinal value to  the body.

Boniface Mbaka, a vendor of  an assortment of  local greens,fruits, roots and tubers  cited  strengthening of  the immune system and subsistence  as reasons for operating the business.

Abagusii Culture and Development Council secretary general, Bosire Angwenyi, says  the  immune system was not a strange phenomenon in the community’s traditional set up.

At a time conventional medicine was almost un heard off, the community knew that failure to eat enough and nutritious foods was a sure way of courting infections.

Viral diseases including measles and pneumonia,existed with patients displaying general body weakness, lack of appetite and breathing difficulties.

Besides medicinal herbs, wild vegetables and some  traditional foodstuffs were given to a patient in seclusion owing to the ferocity of the viral disease.

A chicken was slaughtered, its meat  boiled  in a pot  secured  with a lid before opening it halfway to  let the patient  inhale the vapour while the head was covered.

Bosire mentioned, milk, bread and porridge from finger millet and  pumpkin  leaves as some of the traditional foodstuffs used to strengthen immunity.

Researchers can  engage some traditional  community experts  with a view to coming up with a remedy for the covid19, he observed.

Care should, however, be taken lest some residents and self-styled nutritionists misled  members of the community  into  believing  in immunity boosters as a remedy for covid19.