Media and charity reports last month predicted that by 2015 road accidents will become the biggest killer of children aged 5 to 15 in sub-Saharan Africa. Wrong. The claim is based on old and faulty data.
An article in Kenya’s The Standard last week touted the claims of a local man to have found a new cough remedy based on ‘mole soup’. Coughs can be the symptom of many different conditions, some of which can be fatal. While diet can affect some coughs, this treatment is unverified for any.
A Time.com article recently claimed that “Africa has a drinking problem”. Do Africans drink too much? Data shows that the drinking habits of Africa’s 55 countries are extremely varied. And the majority of Africans don’t drink at all.
Do 80% of South Africans regularly consult traditional healers? Do most black South Africans choose traditional healers over medical doctors and primary healthcare facilities? The claims are false. And as we discovered, with a little sleuthing, they stem from a book published thirty years ago.
A number of leading Malawian newspapers and websites have unquestioningly championed a supposed “wonder herb” that supporters claim can cure HIV, Aids and numerous other diseases and ailments. The claims are untrue, irresponsible and should be condemned.
Officials in Cape Town have claimed there are “only 600 bucket toilets in circulation” in the city and everyone has been offered an alternative. Municipal water and sanitation reports show both claims are wrong.
A recent article published by a South African newspaper made a series of claims about the medical use of dates, the fruit of the date palm. In the first of series on health reporting and quackery, we examine the perils of peddling false information.