MADAGASCAR’S government has sent Nigeria a bill of €170,000 to cover the cost of the samples of the herbal remedy Covid Organics which were recently despatched as part of an attempt to get global acceptance.
Last month, Madagascan scientists came up with Covid Organics, a herbal remedy, which was made from local plants that are also used to cure malaria. According to Madagascar’s president Andry Rajoelina, the herbal remedy has been tested and has cured people but the World Health Organisation (WHO) has pointed out that there is no proof of this, so has refused to fund its development.
Covid Organics, which contains artemisa, a plant used in treating malaria, was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research. As a result of the island’s long isolation from neighbouring continents, Madagascar is home to various plants and animals found nowhere else on planet earth, with than 80% of its 14,883 plant species not available elsewhere, making it an ideal location where a coronavirus remedy can be come across.
However, WHO has insisted that for Covid Organics to be accepted, it has to go through the usual approval process, including passing clinical trials. To help Madagascar, several African countries have agreed to trial samples of Covid Organics with Nigeria accepting a consignment which was delivered via Equatorial Guinea.
However, before the herbal remedy can be administered across Nigeria, it has to be approved by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac). Earlier today, Madagascar revealed that it expects Nigeria to pay for the consignment, which was delivered by Guinea-Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embalo.
President Embalo, who visited President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House in Abuja on Saturday, brought the drugs allocated to Nigeria. During their meeting, President Buhari said Nigeria would put the herbal remedy through intensive testing to determine its suitability. .
One source at the meeting said, however: “Madagascar has asked Nigeria to pay over €170,000. We have received the invoice because the African country has made us to realise that the drugs are not being given out free.”
Meanwhile, Madagascar has registered its first coronavirus death. It involved a 57-year-old medical worker who suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure, who passed away on Saturday night.
Hanta Danielle Vololontiana, a spokeswoman for Madagascar’s Covid-19 taskforce, said: “A man died from Covid-19 in Madagascar. He is 57 years old and a member of the medical staff.”