Several countries in Africa are placing orders for Madagascar’s plant-based COVID-19 remedy, despite warnings from the World Health Organisation that its efficacy is unproven.
WHO said the product had not been tested in line with international standards.
Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina and the country’s Institute for Applied Research launched the remedy Covid-Organics (CVO), launched at a news conference last month.
“All trials and tests have been conducted and its effectiveness in reducing and elimination of symptoms has been proven in the treatment of Covid-19 patients in Madagascar” Rajoelina said adding that the herbal drink had already cured two people.
Reuters reports: On Friday, a Tanzanian delegation arrived in Madagascar to collect their consignment.
The tonic, based on the plant Artemisia annua which has anti-malarial properties, has not undergone any internationally recognised scientific testing. While Rajoelina extolled its virtues, the WHO cautioned it needs to be tested for efficacy and side effects.
Madagascar has been giving away thousands of bottles of “COVID-19 Organics”, developed by the state-run Malagasy Institute of Applied Research.
Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Guinea Bissau have all already received thousands of doses of COVID-19 Organics free of charge.
A legal adviser in the president’s office told Reuters on Wednesday that Madagascar would now begin selling the remedy, which domestically can be bought for around 40 U.S. cents per bottle.
“This remedy can be put on the market,” Marie Michelle Sahondrarimalala, director of Legal Studies at the Presidency, told Reuters in an interview on Wednesday. “Madagascar has already received orders from state authorities in other countries, but also from private individuals.”
Heads of other African countries said they were placing orders.