Nigeria’s Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire who is also a member of the PTF said this during a briefing of the task force on Thursday in Abuja.
According to Dr Ehanire, although the preparation of the drugs at high dose showed it can reduce the frequency of cough, there is no evidence it can cure COVID-19.
“The National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has shared its final report on the evaluation of the COVID Organics from Madagascar,” the minister explained.
“The initial report had showed that it’s main ingredient is the same as Artemisia anua. 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. Dr Ehanire, however, assured that Nigeria will continue to back all efforts towards “finding local COVID-19 cures.”
On May 16th, President Muhammadu Buhari had received the herbal remedy from Madagascar.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, confirmed it in a series of tweets.
According to Mr Garba, samples of the native remedy were brought by the President of Guinea Bissau, Umaro Embalo.
However, he noted that President Buhari reiterated that all necessary procedures will be put in place before allowing traditional or any new medicines to be administered on Nigerians.
“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,” Buhari was quoted to have said.
Before then, the National Coordinator of the PTF on COVID-19, Dr Sani Aliyu had restated that the Madagascan COVID-Organics will be subjected to the normal regulatory processes before it will be administered for use in Nigeria.
Dr Aliyu said this while addressing journalists in Abuja on May 12th, explaining that it will be subjected to stringent regulatory process within the legal frameworks of the country.
“The Madagascar cure will be subjected to the normal process we expect within the legal frameworks and guidelines that we have. More importantly, not only to establish its efficacy but for it to be legally registered.
“So this drug would go through the normal regulatory process which can be stringent before it can be administered in the country,” Aliyu said.
Earlier, Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina batted away criticism for promoting a homegrown “remedy” for COVID-19, charging that the West has a condescending attitude toward traditional African medicine.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly warned that the Covid-Organics infusion, which Rajoelina has touted as a remedy against the deadly coronavirus, has not been clinically tested.