The social media currently is the hub of modern medical quackery. This is one of the reasons against posting health & dietary tips in social media groups. Often people post all manner of bizarre cures for every illness under the sun and earnestly beg the credulous public to quickly share it to save a life! The posts are mostly from anonymous quacks who sometimes claim to be quoting a medical specialist. In an attempt to attract credibility, they may give a meaningless name or reference a fake source or website.
The topics cover all sorts, from the wonderful healing powers of water therapy, urine therapy, salt therapy for Ebola, fruit therapy, pawpaw leaves, ginger, garlic, banana leaves, honey therapy, eating without drinking water till the end of the meal, drinking only on an empty stomach, waking at midnight to drink 500mls of water, drink only warm water, how to wash your blood, wash the kidneys, wash the stomach, wash the liver, not to answer a phone with the left ear etc. The prescriptions claim to cure everything including cancer, diabetes, hypertension, stroke, heart attack, spiritual attack, impotence, sexual underperformance, hemorrhoids, infertility, headache, etc. A typical example is a post below:
“HELLO FRIENDS… DO YOU KNOW?
- Any food you consume after 8 P.M. everyday is equally a poison to your body?
- If you can follow the water therapy for 3 months religiously, your skin, your body and your organs begin to function well?
- HONEY with BANANA can make your skin glow, make it look good and make people ask you the kind of cream you are using.
- Fried meat is a killer; It is damaging your body.
- People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level.
- Drinking water only when you are thirsty is obtaining a license to damage your liver.
- Holding your urine when you are supposed to let go is another way you are damaging your liver? 8. Adding salt into your food when it is already served is another way of slowly poisoning yourself and vital organs? 6: Wearing Cap/scarf or socks while sleeping is among the biggest brain damaging habits” etc… Everyone who reads these posts could become:
- A victim, accepting & convinced of the effectiveness of the stupid treatment and shares the misleading post
- Confused by the prescription that goes against common/ medical sense. He/she ignorantly spreads the error in the guise of seeking clarification or alerting others.
- Angry due to the misleading medical and dietary information contents of the post. The confusion caused by these misleading health and dietary tips is no respecter of persons. The high and low in society are victims, the educated and the illiterate, the rich and the poor. Even paramedical workers and a few medical personnel may be misled.
The misinformation feeds on: -the human curiosity to acquire knowledge, -inclination to gossip, and -desire to avoid illness and harm Due to the confusion generated, every reputable medical personnel get accosted by friends and relatives, who are confused victims of social media medical quackery (SMMQ) asking for confirmation or refutation of the medical nonsense they received via social media. Since a health/dietary post contains many erroneous claims mixed up with some truth, a doctor sought for clarification finds it difficult to address them in brevity within the capacity of the victim. The reputable medical personnel eventually get tired of refuting the interminable nonsense thrown up by such posts, and the insatiable capacity of people to eagerly read and absorb the quack media prescriptions. He/she throws in the towel, exasperated and ignores or avoids them unless a genuine new victim is at imminent risk of being misled The vicious cycle caused by SMMQ never ends well.
The great harmful toll of miseducation and misinformation attributable to SMMQ is a great burden to the economy, the person, society and the health industry. Many deaths, irreversible injuries, and resultant illnesses are caused by sharing and acting out the prescriptions from SMMQ posts. The solution is simple and free: NEVER ACCEPT OR SHARE HEALTH & DIETARY TIPS ON SOCIAL MEDIA, QUICKLY DELETE!