- COVID-19 is widely spreading across Africa and leaders have had no choice but to put their countries on lockdown, Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina has begun exporting a herbal tonic which authorities have claimed is a cure for the coronavirus to countries across the African continent.
Still yet, no scientifically proven cure for the coronavirus, despite countries and corporates across the world investing heavily in research and development. The most optimistic estimates suggest that a vaccine will likely not be found until early next year, and even in that case experts say it would require extensive testing to be proven safe. The announcement caught medical experts, who have scrambled to find a cure for the disease that has killed more than 252,000 and infected at least 3.6 million people globally, by surprise. When Rajeoelina is at the age of 34 years, he became the continent’s youngest national leader, claimed at the launch that the remedy, named COVID-Organics,
However, according to Madagascan authorities, the African island country has already found a cure, this is a drinkable herbal tonic, which it is now exporting abroad. “This herbal tea gives results in seven days,” Madagascar’s government launched the herbal drink last month after three weeks of testing on fewer than 20 people, the Madagascar President’s Chief of Staff Lova Hasinirina Ranoromaro said in a BBC report. It is currently being distributed for free to those most vulnerable and to schools throughout Madagascar, with children encouraged to drink it throughout the day.
The East African nations of Tanzania and Comoros are now set to import the product, which is produced from the artemisia plant known for its anti-malarial properties and has separate preventative and cure versions. On Saturday, Madagascar shipped the drink to West Africa’s Guinea-Bissau, with the country’s President Umaro Sissoco Embalo at the airport to oversee the cargo, reported by AFP correspondents. Embalo’s chief of staff Califa Soares Cassama told reporters that part of Saturday’s shipment was to be passed along to the other 14 members of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). There was no indication of how Guinea-Bissau, poor even by African standards and politically unstable, would handle the required logistics.
Furthermore, Equatorial Guinea received a shipment from Madagascar last Thursday. The country said it would distribute the drink to those infected in hospitals for two weeks. Madagascar claims that the drink is able to cure patients of the coronavirus within 10 days, with President Andry Rajoelina claiming that two people have already been cured through the drink. In a statement reported by the BBC, the (W.H.O) urged caution and did not recommend “self-medication with any medicines … as a prevention or cure for COVID-19.”
The World Health Organization (W.H.O) has said that the herbal tea’s effects had not been tested, and there are no published scientific studies of the drink. Following Rajoelina’s claims, the World Health Organization (W.H.O) advised people against using untested remedies for COVID-19.
“Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world,” WHO, the United Nations health agency, said in a statement on Monday.
“Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical,” the statement added.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warned people against using unproven remedies. “There is no scientific evidence that any of these alternative remedies can prevent or cure the illness caused by COVID-19. In fact, some of them may not be safe to consume,” the CDC said.