Madagascar’s new herbal tincture that cures covid_19 is under investigation of its effectiveness, however before any conclusions are made, other African countries are placing orders. Western countries such as the UK, USA, France and more are still sceptical about the cure. Madagascar initially gave away thousands of bottles of the “Covid-19 Organics”, to most people, and no side effects have been picked up.
The Sub-Saharan Africa regional office of the World Health Organisation, however, cautioned the use of the product, saying that “even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical.
The development of the herbal cure by Malagasy Institue of Applied Research was announced as a cure by the president, Andry Rajoelina in April of 2020. Madagascar confirmed 151 Covid-19 cases and at least 101 of these patients recovered from the virus and zero coronavirus related deaths so far.
The African Union (AU) and Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, however, are still investigating the effectiveness of the herbal remedy.
The AU, chaired by South African president Cyril Ramaphosa, said that their review would “be based on global technical and ethical norms to garner the necessary scientific evidence regarding the performance of the new tonic drink ”
Madagascar President, Rajoelina, posted on Twitter and revealed that an injectable solution of the same product was also under clinical trials. He also added that a pharmaceutical factory is being set up to increase the production capacity of COVID Organics. And will be administered in other forms such as injections.
This also comes after the president of Tanzania, John Magufuli, said that the coronavirus testing kits shipped to his country were faulty after quality checks returned positive Covid-19 results from pawpaw, a goat and a sheep.
Digging a little into the history of this plant reports have it that the medicinal plant on which the CVO formula is based, Artemesia Annua, locally known as African wormwood or umhlonyane, was first imported to Madagascar in the 1970s for use as a malaria treatment. Isolated compounds extracted from Artemisia are effective in malaria drugs. WHO however noted that plant itself cannot treat malaria.
WHO Africa head Matshidiso Moeti said she was concerned people who drank the product might feel they were immune to COVID-19 and engage in risky behaviour.
“We are concerned that touting this product as a preventive measure might then make people feel safe,” she said.
Guinea Bissau has received over 16,000 doses which it is distributing to the 14 other West African nations. Liberia’s deputy Information Minister Eugene Farghon said this week there was no plan to test the remedy before distribution.
“It will be used by Liberians and will be used on Liberians,” he said, noting WHO had not tested other popular local remedies. “Madagascar is an African country … Therefore we will proceed as an African nation and will continue to use our African herbs.”
The African Union (AU) said last Monday that it was trying to get Madagascar’s technical data on the remedy, and would pass that to the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention for evaluation.
“This review will be based on global technical and ethical norms to garner the necessary scientific evidence,” the AU said to Reuters.
Madagascar, however, is putting the plant-based “cure” for Covid-19 on sale, and several countries in Africa have already put in orders for purchase, despite warnings from the World Health Organisation (WHO) that its efficacy is unproven.
According to new development, the COVID Organics, or CVO, has been sent to several other African countries, including Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Comoros, Guinea-Bissau, Niger and recently Nigeria to assist in the fight against the global pandemic.