By Agnes Kiconco
KIU, Main Campus – Since the resurgence of the COVID-19 pandemic in Uganda, with hundreds of cases recorded daily for the past two weeks, many have resorted to different methods of self-treatment including steaming themselves with herbs.
On the other hand, however, doctors and the World Health Organization(WHO) have since warned the public about the dangers of excessive steaming.
The act of steaming involves inhaling of steam from boiled herbs, which causes the person to sweat profusely to apparently cleanse the body of toxins. This practice has been used over the years as a remedy for colds.
Dr. Richard Idro, a pediatrician at Mulago Specialised National Referral Hospital said steaming especially among children could be hazardous.
Dr. Idro backed up this fact by saying," among children, steam inhalation can burn the inside lining of the airways causing swellings and more difficulty in breathing."
"No matter how hot steam is, it will not reach the virus present in the cells of an infected individual," added Dr. Idro.
More to that, WHO clarified that steam inhalation does not cure COVID -19 and is not a safe treatment as it may cause serious burns and scalds.
The Ministry of Health also warned the public against this and other untested practices as they are a danger to people's health.
It advises people with symptoms to visit a health center for diagnosis and treatment from a trained health practitioner, and any medicines taken should be supervised by a qualified health worker.