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Why Nigeria reaches out to Madagascar for ‘Covid Organics’ ─Minister

Bottles of Madagascar's 'Covid Organics' Cure

* Government enlists Abuja, 5 states for WHO’s ‘solidarity trials’

* We’re not aware, but clinical trial is a normal process — NMA

Alexander Davis | ConsumerConnect

The FEederal Government of Nigeria has confirmed that it reached out to Madagascar for its elixir named ‘Covid Organics’, but said the product would be subjected to scientific analysis to ascertain its genuineness and perhaps begin its local production.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Hounourable Minister for Health, Monday, May 11, at the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, in Abuja, stated that the country had also listed the FCT and five states that would be participating in the ‘solidarity trials’.

The solidarity trial, which is an international clinical trial to help find an effective treatment for COVID-19, was launched by the WHO and partners.

More than 100 countries have joined the solidarity trial and to date, over 1,200 patients have been randomised from the first five countries to evaluate the safety and efficacy of full drug and drug combinations.

Members of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 at a recent media briefing in Abuja, FCT

The Government has enrolled Abuja, FCT, and five other states of the Federation, Lagos, Ogun, Kano, Kaduna and Sokoto, in the trials, which have described as an international clinical trial to help find a cure for Coronavirus (COVID-19) epidemic.

Reports say the proposed programme is being spearheaded by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The government also warned COVID-19 patients in its isolation and treatment centres across the country against attacking doctors and other healthcare workers catering for their medical needs.

The Nigerian authorities have described such actions against the medical personnel as inhuman, unacceptable and reprehensible.

Mr. Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, at a media briefing in Abuja, said most of the demands made by patients are such that health workers are not in a position to meet.

Mustapha stated: “The PTF has also continued to receive, rather sadly, reports about challenges facing the front-line health workers.

“They have received threat to lives, experienced detention by patients they are actually nursing to health and suffered other forms of harassment.

“Let me underscore the fact that these front-line workers constantly put their lives on the line to make sure persons infected are provided with the best care possible to enable them become healthy citizens again.

Frontline healthcare personnel on duty at an isolation centre in Lagos

“It is, therefore, inhuman and unacceptable that patients engage in acts of locking them up and making demands that these front-line officers, most of the time do not have the capacity to address. The PTF views such behaviour as reprehensible and should be deprecated. We call on all state governments to take this up appropriately.”

The Government disclosed that it has conducted over 27,000 COVID-19 tests so far, while about 600 Nigerians in the Diaspora had been evacuated in the last week, and are now in isolation centres for 14 days.

WHO had announced that Nigeria had recently indicated its readiness to join the trials.

On the update regarding the trials, Dr. Ehanire said: “The Federal Government is cooperating with WHO on treatment regimen solidarity trial, with the following states enrolled:  Lagos, FCT, Ogun, Kaduna, Sokoto and Kano.”

Nonetheless, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) has declared that it is not aware of the WHO proposed solidarity trials, but stated that it is “a normal scientific process”.

Dr. Francis Faduyile,  President of NMA, said although the Association was not aware of the trials, the process was a scientific procedure to get drugs and vaccines approved.

“We have been involved in other clinical trials not only on COVID-19, but in drug formulations.

“It is a normal thing in science and it does not mean that the Federal Government wants to use Nigerians as guinea pigs. They must have passed through a lot of processes before they want to do trials.

“It is a normal scientific process of getting drugs approved as well as getting vaccines approved. We are not aware of this one the Federal government is planning but it is a normal process.”

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