Madagascar is putting its self-proclaimed, plant-based remedy for COVID-19 on sale and several nations in Africa have already placed orders for purchase, despite warnings from the World Health Organisation that its efficacy is unproven.
In April. President Andry Rajoelina introduced the remedy at a news conference, ingesting from a sleekly-branded bottle stuffed with an amber liquid which he stated had already cured two people.
The tonic, based on the plant Artemisia annua which has anti-malarial properties, has not undergone any internationally known scientific testing. While Rajoelina extolled its virtues, the WHO warned it needs to be tested for efficacy and side effects.
Madagascar has been giving away hundreds of bottles of COVID-19 Organics, made by the state-run Malagasy Institute of Applied Research.
Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Central African Republic, the Republic of Congo, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, and Guinea Bissau have all already received hundreds of doses of COVID-19 Organics free of cost.
A legal adviser in the president’s workplace told reporters Wednesday that Madagascar would now start selling the treatment, which domestically can be purchased for around 40 U.S. cents per bottle.
Isolated compounds extracted from Artemisia are effective in malaria medicine, the WHO noted, but the plant itself can’t deal with malaria.
WHO Africa head Matshidiso Moeti stated she was involved people who drank the product might feel they were immune to COVID-19 and interact in risky behaviour.