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Claim: Dr. Liza Ramoso-Ong, the wife of cardiologist and online health personality Dr. Willie Ong, endorses Herbal Itching Cream to treat vaginal infections.
Why we fact-checked this: The Facebook video bearing the claim has 463,000 views, 3,800 reactions, and 852 comments as of writing.
At the start of the video, a clip of Ong talking about vaginal candidiasis is shown, followed by images and text that depict vaginal infections. This was spliced together with another clip talking about the product, possibly leading viewers to believe that Ong is endorsing Herbal Itching Cream as a treatment.
The facts: Ong does not endorse the product. The clip used in the misleading ad was originally from a video posted on the official Doc Willie Ong YouTube channel last July 27, 2020.
In the original video, Ong gives tips and advice on how to treat and take care of female genitals to avoid vaginal candidiasis, an infection caused by a type of fungus called candida that causes an itchy or burning sensation in the vagina, abnormal discharge, and discomfort when urinating or during sexual intercourse. Ong does not mention Herbal Itching Cream at all in the original video.
Not FDA registered: Herbal Itching Cream is not included in the approved list of drug products by the Philippine Food and Drug Administration.
Fake endorsements: The misleading Facebook post came from a page posing as the official account of the Ong couple. The fake page has 55 likes and 378 followers. The official Facebook accounts of Willie Ong and Liza Ong have 17 million followers and 3.7 million followers, respectively.
The couple has repeatedly debunked fake ads using their name, photos, and videos to imply endorsement of supposed health products and treatments. Rappler has fact-checked a number of these claims:
- FACT CHECK: Doc Willie Ong ad for niacinamide toothpaste is fake
- FACT CHECK: Doc Willie Ong not endorsing unregistered gout ointment
- FACT CHECK: Barley Grass Powder ad uses altered photo of Doc Willie Ong
- FACT CHECK: Fake ads for hair growth product use Doc Willie Ong’s videos
– Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza/Rappler.com
Chinie Ann Jocel R. Mendoza is a graduate of Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program. This fact check was reviewed by a member of Rappler’s research team and a senior editor. Learn more about Rappler’s fact-checking mentorship program here.
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