By Lerato Ndlovu
The World Health Organization (WHO) has come under fire for not endorsing Madagascar’s herbal drink COVID Organics (CVO).
According to the WHO Madagascar’s ‘vaccine’ was not tested nor approved by the body.
So far no vaccine has been found as several are still under trials.
Matshidiso Moeti, Regional Director of WHO office in Africa on Thursday said the global health body was still engaging Madagascar over it’s herbal drink, COVID Organics.
This was in response to Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina who had blasted the health body over it’s failure to approve their locally made ‘vaccine’.
”We are in touch with the government of Madagascar. We have offered to support the design of a study to look into this product [Covid Organics], we are in discussion to sort out the way forward.
“WHO has been working in the traditional medicine sector, we work very hard to facilitate collaboration and to incorporate traditional medicine into national health systems,” Moeti said.
Moeti further said that because of undernourishment, people in Africa have a weaker immune system, thus making them vulnerable to infectious diseases.
“This is an urgent issue, as more than 200 million people in Africa are undernourished. The COVID-19 pandemic is making the situation worse, “she said.
Rajaolina presented the so-called remedy to the press on Monday while slamming the global body for not showing any interest in the African country’s findings.
“All trials and tests have been conducted and its effectiveness in reducing the elimination of symptoms has been proven for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 in Madagascar,” he said.
During the launch of the product in April Madagascar President Rajaolina on his twitter handle stressed that the drug will be issued for free to the most vulnerable compatriots despite scientific opinion that there is currently no cure for COVID-19 and that any experimental formula should be rigorously tested to see if it is safe and effective.
“The Covid-Organics will be distributed free of charge to our most vulnerable compatriots and sold at very low prices to others. All profits will be donated to IMRA to finance scientific research.
“I’m convinced that, in fact history will prove us, but today there are already two cases that have been cured with the COVID-organics, but we’ll actually see what happens next.”
The CVO was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research containing Artemisia, a plant cultivated on the Big Island to fight against malaria, and so far it has been shipped to several African countries.
The African countries that have received it so far : Senegal, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Liberia and Guinea-Bissau. South Africa said it will facilitate its clinical trial first.
Liberia’s Deputy Information Minister Eugene Farghon in response to the WHOs plea of testing before consumption said there was no plan to test the remedy before distribution considering that the body had not tested other local remedies.
“It will be used by Liberians and will be used on Liberians,” he said. “Madagascar is an African country, therefore we will proceed as an African nation and will continue to use our African herbs.”