Nigeria is set to receive a Shipment Of Madagascar’s Drugs For Testing ‘Covid-Organics’, according to reports, Nigeria’s consignment has already been sent to Equatorial Guinea from where it will be airlifted to Abuja.
Nigeria’s COVID-19 positive tally moved to 4,399 last night with 248 new cases announced by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC).
According to reports, there is pressure on the Federal Government by different medical and scientific organizations to allow the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to subject the drug to further analysis.
Some others are pushing for clinical trial of Covid Organics before being used in the country.
The Federal Government was yet to take a position as of weekend because the AU has mandated its Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to review the scientific data gathered so far on the safety and efficacy of the COVID Organics.
The purported remedy is a drink derived from artemisia – a plant with proven efficacy in malaria treatment – and other indigenous herbs.
Last month, Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina launched the remedy at a news conference, drinking from a sleekly-branded bottle filled with an amber liquid which he said had already cured two people.
Madagascar has since been giving away thousands of bottles of the product, developed by the state-run Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, to countries across Africa.
Chad, Comoros, Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo have all been served the medication which till date is yet to be scientifically tested and or certified by any independent medical outfit.
Covid-Organics: WHO Warnings
WHO has warned against “adopting a product that has not been taken through tests to see its efficacy”.
Isolated compounds extracted from artemisia are effective in malaria drugs, the WHO noted, but the plant itself cannot treat malaria.
The Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention also said the drink should be “tested rigorously”.
Health specialists are worried that people who drink the product might feel they are immune to COVID-19 and engage in risky behaviour, the WHO’s Africa head Matshidiso Moeti said.
“We are concerned that touting this product as a preventive measure might then make people feel safe,” she said.
The African Union (AU) on Monday said it was trying to get Madagascar’s technical data on the remedy, and would pass that to the Africa CDC for evaluation.
“This review will be based on global technical and ethical norms to garner the necessary scientific evidence,” the AU said.
Covid-19 in Africa
Across the whole of the African continent more than 2,000 coronavirus deaths have been recorded by Africa’s Centre for Disease Control.
Cases have been recorded in every African nation except Lesotho.
South Africa has the highest number of confirmed cases – more than 8,200 and 160 deaths – while Algeria has the most deaths over 480.