Tag Archives: Madagascar

Madagascar finds dead bodies in streets, deploys doctors, troops ‌

Madagascar’s government has announced it will dispatch troops and doctors to an eastern town after several bodies were found in the streets and where two people died from the novel coronavirus.

Madagascar’s cabinet held a special meeting on Sunday to discuss the situation in Toamasina, the country’s second-largest city.

The Indian Ocean island nation has registered 527 infections and two deaths, both in Toamasina.

Since Thursday, more than 120 new cases were confirmed, and several bodies were found in the city’s streets though the cause of death was not clear.

“Doctors must carry out thorough examinations to see if these deaths are caused by another illness (…) or if they are really due to severe acute respiratory problems which is the critical form of COVID-19,” Professor Hanta Marie Danielle Vololontiana, spokesperson for the government’s virus taskforce, said in a national broadcast on Sunday.

The government will send 150 soldiers to reinforce Toamasina, maintain order, and enforce measures against the coronavirus such as mask-wearing and social distancing.

The cabinet also fired Toamasina’s prefect without providing any explanation.

A team was also ordered to distribute a drink based on Artemisia, a plant recognised as a treatment against malaria, which the Malagasy authorities claim cures COVID-19.

The potential benefits of this herbal tea, called COVID-Organics, have not been validated by any scientific study.

The cabinet has also announced an investigation into the death of a doctor in Toamasina. According to the local press, the victim was hospitalised after contracting COVID-19 and was found dead hanged in his room on Sunday morning.


WHO finally declares support for Madagascar’s alleged COVID-19 cure after bribery claims

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has revealed it is considering Madagascar’s COVID Organics for a clinical observation process.

This was made known by the President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina in a tweet on Wednesday.

Rajoelina after a meeting with Director-General of WHO, Tedros Ghebreyesus, said WHO had congratulated Madagascar for the discovery of its COVID Organics, adding that it had accepted to support the clinical observation process in Africa

Recall that the Rajoelina had over the weekend claimed that the WHO offered his country the sum of $20m as a bribe to poison COVID-19 alleged cure.

He also stated that the only reason the rest of the world had refused to take the herbal cure seriously and with respect was because it came from Africa.

However, Rajoelina on Wednesday tweeted, “Successful exchange with @DrTedros who commends #Madagascar’s efforts in the fight against #Covid19 and congratulates us for the discovery of #CovidOrganics.

“@WHO will sign a confidentiality clause on its formulation and will support the clinical observations process in #Africa.

“Following @WHO’s invitation to be part of Solidarity Trial for clinical trials, #Madagascar will prove the effectiveness of its third protocol that combines two injectable medicines that are different from #CovidOrganics.”

President Buhari Receives Madagascar’s COVID-19 Herbal “Drugs From Guinea Bissau’s President Embalo, Says “I Will Listen To Science”

President Muhammadu Buhari Saturday at the State House, Abuja, received the Madagascan native formulation against the Covid-19 pandemic, and reiterated that he will listen to science before allowing traditional or any new medicines to be administered on Nigerians.

At an audience meeting with President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau who brought along with him the samples of the traditional medicine as shared to African nations by Madagascar, President Buhari said his position on all such herbal or traditional medicinal postulates had remained the same.

“We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification. I will not put it to use without the endorsement of our institutions,” said the Nigerian President.

On the main reason for his visit, President Embalo said having stabilized his country after the tussles that attended the general elections won by him, he had come to seek counsel from his “father,” President Buhari on his plan for a “government of national unity” and a proposed war against corruption in his country.

He also said that his new government met a country beset with a number of issues and problems, the resolution of which would require tremendous assistance from the “big brother,” Nigeria.

“Problems of Guinea Bissau are problems of Nigeria. I have come to you as your son. I need your help and assistance to make the people happy. I will not let you down, neither will I put you in any difficult situation,” the visiting leader told President Buhari.
In response to these demands, the Nigerian leader commended “General“ Embalo on his confirmation as President and for stabilizing the country. “I commend your political dexterity in getting the opposition to join the proposed unity government,” he said.

President Buhari restated the determination of Nigeria to keep West Africa politically stable and promised to support the new government in Guinea Bissau. “I will cooperate and help in every way possible,” assured the Nigerian President.

President Buhari also used the opportunity of the visit to praise the good work that the President of Niger Republic, Mahamadou Issoufou, who is the current Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is doing in the sub-region, and commended him for keeping him informed of all that is happening around.

COVID 19: It’s shameful FG ignored local solutions for Madagascar alternative-Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has condemned the plans of the Nigerian government to import herbal products from Madagascar for the treatment of covid-19. PSN made its position in a Press Statement signed by its President, Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa and made available to Jungle Journalist Media Limited.

It argued that it was an insult on the country for FG to make the order, despite the abundance of herbs, herbal remedies and herbal medical practitioners in the country.

The Statement revealed how PSN had severally called the attention of the FG to claims made by practitioners to test the drugs and see if they are effective. “Our remedies are as good as the ones from anywhere in the world, if not better”, Ohuabunwa argued.

Below is a reproduction of the Statement:

The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has received the news that the Federal Government of Nigeria is about to import a herbal concoction called COVID Organics (CVO) from Madagascar with utter disbelief. While in principle we would not mind Nigerian government importing any new drug that is proven to cure COVID-19 or indeed any other disease for which we have neither the capacity, nor the technology to produce locally, we are totally appalled that Nigeria is about to spend scarce foreign exchange to import ‘COAL INTO NEWCASTLE’. Even if we are not going to pay for this, it is thoroughly disgraceful that a country that should be the leader of Africa, with the largest GDP will allow itself to be dragged this low. Nigeria has about 174 Universities (43 Federal, 52 State and 79 private), 20 Faculties of Pharmacy and about 69 Federal-Funded Research Institutes (including National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research & Development and the National Institute for Medical Research) while Madagascar has only 6 Universities, 1 Faculty of Pharmacy and 9 Research Centers!!!

Nigeria has some of the best scientists (Pharmaceutical, Medical, Biochemical, Biological etc.) in the world who have done so much work on natural and herbal medicines. Nigeria has developed a pharmacopeia of natural and herbal products and has one of the richest flora and fauna – potent sources of phytomedicines. Since the outbreak of the COVID-19, a number of them have raised their voices that they have herbal and natural products that can be used to treat or manage COVID-19. Some have patents. Many herbal companies and producers have announced specifically that they have herbal formulations that can do what this ‘invention’ from Madagascar can do.

We have raised our voices severally that the Federal Government should review these claims and help put them through clinical evaluation as most of these producers cannot afford to conduct clinical trials. We have recommended that a portion of the nearly 25 Billion Naira donated/allocated for the COVID-19 pandemic should be dedicated for local research and development. But our Government has remained essentially silent only waiting to participate in WHO sponsored or mandated trials. We have been told that Nigeria is participating in the WHO solidarity trial, but nothing on trying our own inventions and formulations.

Now we want to import COVID Organics. from Madagascar to try? Why are we like this? If the world can supply us synthetic and chemically-sophisticated medicines which we apparently lack the technology to produce, why must we wait for the World to supply us herbal formulations which we can easily make and which we have similar products?

We urge our Government to save Nigerian Pharmaceutical Scientists and other scientists from the shame of having our country import and try herbal remedies which God has given us in abundance and some of which our grandfathers and grandmothers have used for ages.

Let us try our own local formulations before we try COVID Organics or any other imported remedy. Every well-meaning nation has been in a race to find cures, remedies and other medical supplies used for COVID-19, while we seem to wait for other nations to solve our problems. There is much talk but little action. This dependency mentality needs to change and now is the time. We must seize this opportunity to look inwards, build confidence on our abilities, competences and re-orientate our national economic philosophy from import dependency to export driven. And Nigeria can beat India and China in the production and export of herbal products if anyone is willing to lead us down this part.

Pharm (Mazi) Sam Ohuabunwa OFR, MON, NPOM, FPSN

President, Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria

Breaking: Use Madagascar’s herbal drug to treat COVID-19 patients – Buhari 

Following the treatment of about 55 COVID-19 patients with Madagascar’s herbal drugs, ‘COVID-Organics’, President Muhammadu Buhari, Monday, ordered the presidential task force on COVID-19 to go for the drug.

He advised them to use it for the treatment of covid-19 patients in the country. Disclosing this at the daily briefing of the task force, the secretary to the government of the federation, Boss Mustapha said, Madagascar donated some of the products to Nigeria through Guinea-Bissau. He noted that arrangements are ongoing to bring it down to the country.

“The president of Madagascar sent it to Guinea Bissau. Certain allocations have been made to different countries.

“We have an indication of the quantities that have been allocated to Nigeria, and we are supposed to make arrangements to freight it out of Bissau to Nigeria.

“I have received instructions from Mr President to make arrangements to freight it home.”

WHO finally calls for clinical trial of Madagascar’s Covid-19 cure

Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa

The World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday called 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.

“We are advising the government of Madagascar to take this product through a clinical trial and we are prepared to collaborate with them,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, told a joint media briefing with the WHO and World Economic Forum.

“We would caution and advise countries against adopting a product that has not been through clinical tests for safety and efficacy,” Moeti said.

“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.

There are over 51,000 confirmed virus cases in the African continent, with more than 17,000 associated recoveries and 1,900 deaths, according to the WHO.

“We know that to stop the spread of this virus, key public health measures need to be in place in every community… even where cases have not been reported, readiness capacities should be prepositioned,” the WHO official said.

She added that WHO was “working with countries to leverage the assets they have in place already, built in preparedness for Ebola and HIV, TB and polio program among others, as well as to scale-up coordination, mobilize people and repair supply chains globally and locally.”

“It’s not a matter of simply today we have lockdowns and tomorrow everything is opened up. It has to be gradual with the most essential parts of the economy being opened up first,” Moeti said.

Several African countries have lifted the partial lockdown imposed to stem the spread of the virus, but the ban on gatherings is still in place.

While educational facilities remain closed in most African countries, businesses have been allowed to operate conditionally.

African governments say there is need to resume economic activities with imperative to contain the virus.

Moeti said they have guidelines from WHO on “progressively releasing these measures.”

Breaking: WHO swallows pride, considers Madagascar’s herbal drink as possible treatment for COVID-19

Dede Ifayemi

Madagascar’s much touted herbal COVID-19 cure may have received some support from the World Health Organization (WHO) after the global health body stated that it welcomes innovations around the world including repurposing drugs, traditional medicines and developing new therapies in the search for potential treatments for COVID-19.

This was contained in a press release issued by the WHO on Monday evening.

“WHO recognizes that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine has many benefits and Africa has a long history of traditional medicine and practitioners that play an important role in providing care to populations. Medicinal plants such as Artemisia annua are being considered as possible treatments for COVID-19 and should be tested for efficacy and adverse side effects.

“Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world. Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical,” WHO stated in the release.

Today’s Echo understands that Madagascar is building a factory to mass-produce a drink from the extracts of the artimisia annua plant, which is used to treat malaria. The factory will be operational within a month, according to President Andry Rajoelina.

“Our researchers and scientists are doing the necessary to make our coronavirus remedy a drug that meets the standards,” he said on state TV.

Madagascar’s herbal drink has also received a boost from other African countries. The president of Tanzania, John Magufuli, has said he’s sending a plane to Madagascar to fetch the tonic, and Rajoelina said on Twitter that Equatorial Guinea’s vice minister for health had arrived in the country to procure an unknown quantity. Other countries that have shown interest are Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and Comoros, Rajoelina said.

African governments through their Ministers of Health adopted a resolution urging Member States to produce evidence on the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicine at the Fiftieth Session of the WHO Regional Committee for Africa in 2000.

Countries also agreed to undertake relevant research and require national medicines regulatory agencies to approve medicines in line with international standards, which include the product following a strict research protocol and undergoing tests and clinical trials. These studies normally involve hundreds of people under the monitoring of the national regulatory authorities and may take quite a few months in an expedited process.

WHO is working with research institutions to select traditional medicine products which can be investigated for clinical efficacy and safety for COVID-19 treatment. In addition, the Organization will continue to support countries as they explore the role of traditional health practitioners in prevention, control, and early detection of the virus as well as case referral to health facilities.

Over the past two decades, WHO has been working with countries to ensure safe and effective traditional medicine development in Africa by providing financial resources and technical support. WHO has supported clinical trials, leading 14 countries to issue marketing authorization for 89 traditional medicine products which have met international and national requirements for registration. Of these, 43 have been included in national essential medicines lists. These products are now part of the arsenal to treat patients with a wide range of diseases including malaria, opportunistic infections related to HIV, diabetes, sickle cell disease and hypertension. Almost all countries in the WHO African region have national traditional medicine policies, following support from WHO.

“As efforts are under way to find treatment for COVID-19, caution must be taken against misinformation, especially on social media, about the effectiveness of certain remedies. Many plants and substances are being proposed without the minimum requirements and evidence of quality, safety and efficacy. The use of products to treat COVID-19, which have not been robustly investigated can put people in danger, giving a false sense of security and distracting them from hand washing and physical distancing which are cardinal in COVID-19 prevention, and may also increase self-medication and the risk to patient safety.

WHO welcomes every opportunity to collaborate with countries and researchers to develop new therapies and encourages such collaboration for the development of effective and safe therapies for Africa and the world.

Today’s Echo

African Presidents, Minus Nigeria Support Use of Madagascar ‘Organic’ Covid-19 Drug

Some African Heads of State were part of a teleconference that discussed the adoption of Covid-19 organic medicine.

The meeting on Saturday, May 2, was held to discuss in detail the efficacy of the Covid Organics Medicine(CVO) that was developed by Madagascar in treating Covid-19 patients.

Nigeria however, was not part of that conference.

The President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina took to Twitter on Monday, April 20, to claim that the concoction named Covid Organics (CVO) – a form of herbal tea – is curing Covid-19 patients.

World Health Organization (WHO) however in a statement warned against any self-medication and said that it has not recommended any medicine as a cure for the Covid-19.

Malagasy President chaired the meeting and presented the product to the other Heads of States in the video conference call.

Presidents present in the meeting were, Cyril Ramaphosa (African Union Chairperson and South Africa), Abdul Fatah El Sisi (Egypt), President Felix Tshisekedi(DRC), President Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya).

Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Ali Bongo (Gabon), Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger), Idris Derby (Chad), Boubacar Keita (Mali) and Andry Rajoelina (Madagascar).

They also formed a Covid-19 Ministerial Response Coordinating Committees on Health, Transport, Finance and Agriculture to respond to the various factors surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic.

The Bureau of Heads of State of the African Union also formulated a continental strategy to better prepare and respond to any new cases of the virus on the continent.

The meeting also shared experimental drugs on the deadly virus, vaccines and clinical trials that have kicked off around the world.

Kenya was earmarked as a testing ground for the United Kingdom Covid-19 vaccine but Uhuru denied knowledge of the plans.

The Heads of State formed the Africa Union Covid-19 Fund, done under the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).

The fund is a public-private partnership that aims to raise an initial $150 million (Ksh16 billion) for immediate needs to prevent transmission and up to $400 million (Ksh52 billion) to support sustainable medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

What You Should Know About Madagascar’s COVID-Organics Cure And Senegal’s $1 COVID-19 Test Kits

by Onwuasoanya Obinna

In the race for solutions to the COVID-19 pandemic, Senegal has developed a test kit that costs $1 while Madagascar claims to have found a cure named COVID-organics.

In March 2020, the UK and Senegal had partnered to develop a COVID-19 test kit that costs around $1 to produce (per unit). Even more amazing is the fact that these test kits could have results ready within 10 minutes.

It was to use a saliva-based virus antigen test and a blood-based antibody test. It was also touted as being able to give an easily readable result. Probably something like a line that appears if the patient tests positive for pregnancy or so.

However, after the initial buzz that it had generated, not much was heard about the test kits again. It seems that they have been testing the kits all this while.

A Bloomberg article had speculated that it may be launching sometime in June 2020. But, an Aljazeera video on YouTube has produced evidence that Senegal has begun using it.

Since it is cheap and easy to produce, from the country’s AIDS and Ebola experience, Senegal is testing everyone. This is a much better development as they are not taking chances.

The Institut Pasteur de Dakar taking the lead in producing the kits says that the goal is to manufacture at least 2 to 4 million units. This will also assist other African countries battling the virus.

In addition to the news about the $1 COVID-19 test kits in Senegal, there are stories about a possible cure for the pandemic in Madagascar.

While the World Health Organization (WHO) and other notable health bodies around the world maintain that there is no cure for COVID-19 yet, Madagascar claims to have found one and named it COVID-organics.

COVID-organics is said to be made from natural ingredients and President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar launched it last week; drinking from it on national TV.

It is touted as acting as both a vaccine and a cure as well. For now, there is no verified information concerning the effectiveness of this product. But the President allegedly said schools will reopen by Wednesday, 29th April 2020.

Social media has been alit with users praising the efforts of the two African countries.

We May Ask Madagascar To Send Us A Plane Load Of Herbs To Treat COVID-19: SFG

Boss Mustapha, secretary to the government of the federation (SGF), says the country may ask Madagascar for a planeload of “herbal solutions” to treat COVID-19.

This comes following reports a week ago that Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina launched a herbal medicine believed to cure the novel coronavirus.

Branded COVID-organics, the medicine which contains artemisia, a plant used in treating malaria, was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research.

Speaking at a briefing on Tuesday, Mustapha also the chairman of the presidential task force on COVID-19, they are keeping tab of happenings around the world.

“I want to assure you that whatever is happening in the world, we are mindful of it and we are keeping tab,” he said.

“I was reading of the experiences in Madagascar– of why everybody is drinking some solutions that have been prepared. This morning I was sharing with my wife, and I told her that probably I would request that Mr President allow us to import a planeload for a trial.

“Because, we are all navigating an unchartered cause. Nobody has ever been on this road. So, every attempt to find a solution that would bring succour to our people, be rest assured that this task force is very responsible and we would do everything to ensure that we get what will benefit our people, what will help them in the processes that we find ourselves today.”