Leaders fault study on miraa and virility

The Meru county government has protested to Moi University over a report that miraa consumption affects sexual performance.

In a letter seen by the Business Daily and addressed to Dr Ochiba Lukanda, the lead researcher, the county says the report was eroneous.

The findings of the research indicated that miraa chewing causes mental disorders such as mood swings and depression, affects sexual performance among men and could lead to heart attack.

“We are concerned to note that the report on the study carried out by Moi University, with you being the lead scientist, indicates that miraa chewing has negative effects on sexual performance in human beings,” writes Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries executive Jenaro Guantai Gatangugi.

“The report was presented at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha at a forum organised by the consortium for National Health Research,” says the letter.

It further states that the county government was not aware of any consultations during the study, adding that it should have been consulted considering that it is a key stakeholder.

There are many other stakeholders who should have been involved, states the letter.

“The experience on the ground highly contradicts your findings and we recommend further research on miraa to ascertain the actual composition and come up with evidence-based confirmatory results on the same,” reads the letter.

Mr Gatangugi was speaking during a stakeholders’ workshop on agriculture, nutrition and incomes held in Maua town. He said the crop should not be “played” with as it sustains hundreds of thousands of people.

He said there was no research in the world which has proved that miraa was psychotropic, adding that the researchers should support their findings with concrete evidence.

“Let them come to Igembe region where miraa is mainly grown and prove whether their findings are right, considering the high population of learners in schools,” he said.

Mr Gatangugi said he would ensure that the crop does thrives during his tenure.