Madagascar’s ‘COVID-19’ drug is mainly anti-malaria – Health Minister

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at a press briefing on the outbreak of Coronavirus in Nigeria
The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, at a press briefing on the outbreak of Coronavirus in Nigeria

Findings from the analysis of COVID Organics shows that it largely contains anti-malaria components, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, said on Thursday.

COVID Organics is a herbal mixture developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research. It was reportedly used in treating COVID-19 patients in Madagascar.

President Muhammadu Buhari, on May 16, received some of the herbal remedy from the Madagascar government but said he will await research outcomes before allowing any new medicine be administered on Nigerians.

Since its launch in April, the use of the Malagasy herbal remedy to treat COVID-19 patients has been trailed by a lot of controversy.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) had cautioned countries against adopting a product that has not undergone thorough scientific research.

The health agency advised governments to clinically test the Madagascar herbal drink before using it to treat COVID-19.

Anti-Malaria

Mr Ehanire, while speaking at the bi-weekly briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, said a variety of the herb grows in Nigeria.

“Preliminary results of the analysis of the so-called Madagascar herbs by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) show that it is the same as the plant Artemisia anua, which is grown in the NIPRD farm. Further research on its efficacy will be conducted when the grants for research is approved.

READ ALSO: COVID-19: UNILAG Begins Research On Low-Cost Ventilators

“The so-called Madagascar herb is one component of the malaria treatment medicine. Some years ago, the government actually imported this plant and has a plantation of it in trying to develop its own production of the artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). The plantation is still there but the process has not gone that much further.

“We are looking into seeing what has held it up but the plant is here; it was intended for producing anti-malaria, and the type we have here has a very high yield of artemisinin – which is actually the active ingredient,” he said.

The minister, however, said relevant government agencies will continue the process of evaluation to determine its effectiveness in treating COVID-19.



Advertisement

PT Mag Campaign AD

All rights reserved. This material and any other material on this platform may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, written or distributed in full or in part, without written permission from PREMIUM TIMES.


Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility

Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.

For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.

By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.

Donate


TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...



BE THE FIRST TO KNOW! Subscribe to our newsletter

* indicates required

DOWNLOAD THE PREMIUM TIMES MOBILE APP

Now available on

  Premium Times Android mobile applicationPremium Times iOS mobile applicationPremium Times blackberry mobile applicationPremium Times windows mobile application