Madagascar's Covid Organics Herb

Madagascar’s herb has no real curative properties against COVID-19, says Nigeria

*Initial report showed Covid Organics main ingredient is same as Artemisia annua, says Health Minister Dr. Osagie Ehanire

*The country now has 59 laboratories for COVID-19 test —NDDC Chief

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

In what amounts to an official transnational scam of some sort, having apparently paid tens of millions of Naira of the taxpayers’ money for a consignment of the same product, the Federal Government of Nigeria has declared that the much-touted Madagascar COVID-19 herb syrup, Covid Organics, did not show any evidence that it has real curative properties to cure the novel Coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health, disclosed this at the 52nd Joint National Briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, in Abuja, FCT.

Ehanire stated that the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has shared its final report on the evaluation of the COVID Organics from Madagascar, agency report said.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Honourable Minister for Health

The Minister remarked that the initial report showed that its main ingredient is the same as Artemisia annua.

“While the preparation at high dose showed activity in reducing the frequency of cough, it did not show any evidence that it has real curative properties against COVID-19.

“However, we shall continue to support all genuine efforts toward finding local COVID-19 cures,” disclosed he.

According to him, the COVID-19 cases recorded daily over the past weeks now fluctuate within the 500 to 700 bracket, with 543 new cases in the past 24 hours.

He, however, commended persons of influence in society, who tested positive for COVID-19 and came out publicly to declare it and entrust themselves to prescribed treatment.

Those concerned did the nation a lot of good by showing that there was no shame and nothing to hide about COVID-19, and they also contributed immensely to building confidence in the health system, stated he.

Ehanire, who commended the nation’s healthcare providers for their efforts, said that in spite of this, the focus is still on prevention, being better and cheaper than cure.

The Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) now has 59 molecular diagnostic laboratories for COVID-19 tests activated, he disclosed.

He added that with a little improvement in logistics, lack of availability of testing capacity should not be a tenable excuse any more.

The minister also disclosed that all states of the federation, including the FCT, were receiving support from the COVID-19 response through the Regional Diseases Surveillance Enhancement (REDISSE), Project.

The Minister said: “With this support, all states of the federation will receive N100m to enhance high impact priority response activities. The soon-to-be-reactivated BHCPF will join the funding pool.”

ConsumerConnect recalls that the World Health Organisation (WHO) had discouraged the use of the Madagascar herbal product as treatment for COVID-19.

The global had attributed its position to the non-existence of scientific evidence via clinical trials to support the claim of the Madagascan Government.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said that there are now 59 laboratories with the capacity to test for COVID-19 across 29 states and the FCT, while two rapid diagnostic are in the pipeline for validation.

Dr. Chikwe Ihekweazu, Director-General, NCDC, said this at the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing Thursday, in Abuja.

Ihekweazu said that the centre was working to ensure that testing capacity was available in remaining states across the country.

He stated that the NCDC team is currently in Zamfara, Kebbi, Gombe, and Taraba states of the Federation.

The NCDC Director-General said: “There are high throughput labs that existed for HIV testing, GeneXperts. Other approaches are inclusion of private laboratories and rapid diagnostic test kits.

“There are 45 labs that can carry out real time PTR testing across the country, while four mega PCR labs have been activated to include; two national reference lab and the defence reference lab in Abuja, one lab at the, Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching Hospital and another in Lagos.”

Thirteen GeneXperts have been activated in 10 states, out of 400 available in the country, Ihekweazu said.

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