Last month, the President of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina launched a herbal tea called COVID Organics (CVO) that he said treats and cures COVID-19, the disease that is caused by the novel coronavirus amid scepticism from World Health Organisation (WHO).
Since then, some African countries have asked for a portion of the herbal tea so that they can use it to treat their COVID-19 patients too, and the Island country has gladly obliged.
Countries like Equatorial Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Chad, Comoros Islands, Congo Brazzaville and the Democratic Republic of Congo have all welcomed CVO from Madagascar, including our neighbours Tanzania.
Although some countries have distanced themselves from using and endorsing CVO, including Uganda, the number of those that are welcoming it keeps growing with Nigeria becoming the latest country to receive a consignment of CVO.
Yesterday, May 16, 2020, Nigerian President Muhammad Buhari received the medicine that was delivered by Equatorial Guinea President Umaru Sissoco Embalo who was in Abuja on an official visit.
Buhari said that the herbal medicine will be subjected to laboratory tests before it is approved to be administered to COVID-19 patients in the country.
“My position regarding all herbal or traditional medicines is that any such formulations should be sent to the statutory regulators for thorough scientific verification. We will not put anything to use in Nigeria without the endorsement of our regulatory institutions,” Buhari tweeted yesterday.
The controversial medicine has been contested by international health bodies, with the World Health Organisation warning that using it before testing its efficacy and side effects may have a negative impact on patients, including resistance to other COVID-19 treatment remedies.
This has fallen on the deaf ears of President Rajoelina, who has hit at WHO for not supporting it because they have a “negative image” for Africa.
Currently, Madagascar has confirmed 283 COVID-19 cases with 114 recoveries and no deaths, and Rajoelina has attributed this to using CVO.