Nigeria Becomes the Latest Country to Order Madagascar Covid-19 Drug

  • Subject it to scientific testing – Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has instructed the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on Covid-19, to subject the much touted Malagasy herbal mixture, said to be effective in the treatment of Covid-19 to rigorous scientific testing methods, when Nigeria takes delivery of its consignment.

The chairman of the task force and Secretary to the Federal Government (SGF) Boss Mustapha revealed this yesterday in Abuja, while briefing the press.

“With respect to the Madagascar syrup, it has been freighted to Guinea-Bissau by the President of Madagascar. Certain allocations have been made to different countries.

“We have an indication of the quantity that has been allocated to Nigeria and we are supposed to make arrangements to freight it out of Guinea-Bissau to Nigeria.

“I have received instructions from Mr President to make arrangements to freight it home with a clear instruction that I should subject it to the validation process similar to what would happen to any other medicine or syrup or vaccine that is discovered or created internally.

“So, it will be subjected to the same process before it is put into any form of use. There will be no exception or that”. His statement read.

Also speaking at the briefing, the Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire said the ministry would explore the possibility of producing the drug in the country.

“We have a promise of being able to get samples of the herb or botanical product for analysis and also probably use that opportunity to speak with the health authorities there particularly the scientific community on how they use it.

“But obviously, to also give back to the research community here with us to examine and see what they can do with it.

“We understand that it is something called ‘Artemisia Annua’ which also grows here but we will like to, if we get that sample, compare it with the strain here whether they are exactly identical or whether they are two different strains and see what properties it has and subjected to further analysis bro find out what works there, how it works and the use in getting a cure.

“Obviously, call countries in the world are interested in finding a cure and we are not different. So, we are looking at all possibilities, all options, all promises that are made, we examine them, and before we give them to our people, we make sure that they are actually safe and that they work”. The minister said.

He also gave a quick breadown of cases so far recorded.

“As at the end of yesterday (Sunday), Nigeria has ramped up testing by 1,127 to a total of 27,078 tests, which yielded 4,399 cases in 35 States, with a gender ratio of 70 to 30 percent for men and women. 778 persons have been discharged home and we have sadly recorded 143 datalities, giving a case fatality rate of 3%.

“Senior management of the Federal Ministry of Health and clinical case managers in our hospitals, this morning participated in a multinational teleconference with Chinese medical and academic experts in Beijing, where much insight was gained into the treatment strategy of China and other matters of common interest were discussed.

“The learnings from this intervention are invaluable in reexamining our methods”, he concluded.


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