Poised to reduce the increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases in the country, the federal government has joined her African counterparts to order for the much noised Madagascar herbal drug, COVID Organics, for the treatment of COVID-19 patients in the country .
Disclosing its plans on Monday, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to pick up Madagascar’s herbal drug –COVID Organics – from Equatorial Guinea.
Mustapha said Nigeria’s consignment had been sent to Equatorial Guinea from where it will be airlifted to Abuja.
He further explained that for ease of transportation, African countries were divided into zones leading to the freighting of Nigeria’s consignments to Equatorial Guinea.
He also said the products would be subjected to validation process after they had been picked up.
“Mr President has given instructions for the airlifting of Nigeria’s allocation.
“He has also given clear instructions that it must be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals and there will be no exceptions for this,” he stated.
The World Health Organisation had earlier warned leaders of countries on the dangers of adopting a herbal preparation without safety and efficacy clinical trial.
The apex health institution through a press release on May 4, called the attention of Madagascar government to the need for clinical trials of Madagascar’s COVID Organics, a herbal drink that is said to prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus or COVID-19.
Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, said: “We are advising the government of Madagascar to take this product through a clinical trial and we are prepared to collaborate with them.
“We would caution and advise countries against adopting a product that has not been through clinical tests for safety and efficacy.
“We are concerned about the impact that COVID-19 will have on the ability of African countries to progress towards Universal health coverage,” she added.
Meanwhile, Nigerians have started reacting to the development on social media, with divergent opinions on it.
In a tweet by Mark with handle as @markhalistwan, he said: Madagascar currently has 186 confirmed COVID19 cases with 105 recovered and 0 deaths but Africa is still getting backlashes from the West against the Herb that is responsible for the 105 recoveries? Does Africa really need justification from the western world?
Another concerned Nigerian reacted: “Black supremacy …finally Africa we are doing it thanks to the #MadagascarCure, let’s unite as one to defeat the likes of Bill Gates and Chinese who see Africans as lab rats for their COVID tests”.@jakarabondi1
@nora bae also bared her mind thus: “Traditional medicine is our origin, we need to go back to our root.God have blessed Madagascar with the cure, let us embrace it”.
However, Nigerian herbal medicine practitioners had objected to the importation of foreign herbal preparation for the treatment of COVID-19, when there are locally produced preparations that claimed to effectively treat the infection.
The herbalists in a stakeholders meeting with the National Agency for Food and Drug, Administration and Control (NAFDAC), last week urged the agency on expedited listing and registration of their products for the treatment of patients in the pandemic.