Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina has said the World Health Organisation (WHO) is skeptical of a herbal remedy from his country that has been touted as a cure for coronavirus because it was discovered in a poor African country and not the west.
Drinking from a sleekly-branded bottle, Rajeolina launched the orange mixture known as Covid-Organics on April 20 and claimed it has cured at least 105 covid-19 patients in the island country.
The remedy has been a hit across Africa with countries including Tanzania, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, the Republic of the Congo, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Guinea-Bissau and Chad placing orders for the Madagascar-made drink touted as a virus cure.
A bottle of the drink can be bought for about 40 cents.
The WHO has repeatedly issued warnings against consuming the Covid-Organics remedy to cure the deadly virus as it has not been clinically tested “to see its efficacy.”
“If it wasn’t Madagascar, and if it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don’t think so,” Rajoelina told French media.
Covid-Organics is made out of tea infusions based on the artemisia annua plant, which already has strong credentials as a malaria treatment. Previous research has also explored its potential against SARS, another coronavirus.
South Africa’s government has offered to help Madagascar to test and analyze the unproven herbal treatment for covid-19.
“I had a call with the foreign affairs of Madagascar and there had been a call from the president and we then said our scientific research institutions will be willing to support an analysis,” South Africa’s health minister Zweli Mkhize said.
Listen to GHOGH with Jamarlin Martin | Episode 70: Jamarlin Martin
Jamarlin goes solo to discuss the COVID-19 crisis. He talks about the failed leadership of Trump, Andrew Cuomo, CDC Director Robert Redfield, Surgeon General Jerome Adams, and New York Mayor de Blasio.
Some 190,000 people could die from the coronavirus in Africa and as many as 44 million could become infected, according to WHO projections.
A potential public health catastrophe with covid-19 in Africa makes a home-grown herbal cure even more attractive, especially given what is already known about the plant’s medicinal qualities.
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