'Residents from miraa regions can testify that it boosts reproduction. Miraa has a positive bearing on sex performance. If otherwise, the census report could have only shown a decline in population in areas that predominantly grow and chew Miraa'
A doctor has demanded that researchers who authored a study that linked miraa chewing to impotence to apologise and review their research.
The report by Moi University researchers claimed miraa consumption affects a man's sexual capability, causes heart attack and reduces sperm mortality.
But Dr James Mithika on Tuesday demanded an apology, saying census results had debunked the claims. He said the census result showed Meru population had increased, something that would not be the case if miraa causes impotence.
He cited Igembe Central, the nerve centre of miraa growing in Meru, saying it had recorded the biggest population growth over the last decade.
The total Meru population stands at 1,545, 714 people. Igembe Central is the most populous region with 221,412 people with Meru National Park recording a population of 385 people. The rest of the population is distributed in South Imenti (206,506), North Imenti (177, 5670), Buuri (157,360) Central Imenti (133, 818) and Mt Kenya Forest with 463 bringing the total population in Imenti region to 675,714.
In the Nyambene region, which includes, Igembe Central (221,412), Tigania East (177,279) Igembe North (169,317), Igembe South (161,646), Tigania West (139,961) and Meru National Park (385) had a total population of 870,000 according to the figures released by the Kenya National Bureau of Statistics on Monday.
Mithika who is also a politician from Igembe Central wants the researchers to apologise to the Meru people and miraa growers and review their findings that associated the crop with impotence.
He said another study by the Kings College in London had claimed miraa components enhances the penetration of sperm in female ovum, thereby increasing the chances of fertilisation.
“Residents from miraa regions can testify that it boosts reproduction. Miraa has a positive bearing on sex performance. If otherwise, the census report could have only shown a decline in population in areas that predominantly grow and chew Miraa,” Mithika said.
Residents who spoke to the Star cast doubts on the research findings. Others tok to social media to castigate a report that claimed miraa affects human reproductive health.
Alex Kiambi said he has never accepted the claim miraa consumption affects reproduction.
The Moi University researchers released their report at the Great Rift Valley Lodge in Naivasha in 2015. They linked prolonged use of miraa to sexual dysfunction in men. Then, lead scientist Ochiba Lukanda, said a similar study conducted in the Middle East had proven that men who stopped chewing miraa performed better in bed.
Mithika said they are going to demand a "review of all those fake research findings.'
edited by peter obuya