FOREIGN NEWS

Demand Increases for Madagascar Covid-19 “Cure” Across Africa

The government of Madagascar is putting on sale its self produced and plant based “cure” for the deadly Covid-19, after a spike in demand from several other African countries for the herbal mixture, despite warnings from the World Health Organization (WHO) that the claims of efficacy haven’t yet been proven.

Last month, the country’s president Andry Rojoelina launched the much sought after remedy at a press conference in Antananarivo. He drank from the mixture and claimed it had cured two persons.

On friday, officials from the Tanzanian government arrived the country to take their consignment of the herbal mixture.

The mixture chiefly consist of an anti malaria plant Artemisia Annua but has not gone through the internationally approved procedure for testing new medications. While Rojoelina touted the medication as a game changer, WHO cautioned its usage, as it has not gone through the necessary testing for efficacy and side effects.

Madagascar has being giving away thousands of the herbal medicine, developed by the government owned Malagasy Institute of Applied Research.

Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Guinea Bissau have all taken delivery of the medication free of charge.

Presidents of other African countries are said to be gearing up to place their orders.

WHO said Artemisia Annua has properties effective in the treatment of malaria when extracted but that the plant on its on can not cure malaria.

The head of WHO in Africa Matshidiso Moeti, warned people not to engage in risky behaviour, thinking they are immuned from Covid-19, because they took the drug.

“We are concerned that touting this product as a preventive measure might then make people feel safe,” she said.

As of thursday, Madagascar had 225 confirmed cases of the deadly virus. 98 recoveries and zero deaths were recorded.

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