Madagascan Covid-Organics: A Challenge to Nigerian Herbalists

Madagascan Covid-Organics: A Challenge to Nigerian Herbalists

The controversy surrounding Madagascan COVID-19 cure is throwing Nigerians and other Africans into a frenzy. Some stood against it while some are die-hard fans of the medicinal drink. Those that have their reservations are viciously attacked by its fans. Medical practitioners and scientists have called attention to the fact that Madagascar has not published any clinical trial data on the drug. They also revealed that the drug has not passed through any peer review and third party verification and approval. However, their observations are discredited by many Africans, who claimed that these medical practitioners and scientists only wanted to save their jobs. The advocates of this drug also claimed that the medical practitioners and scientists condemn it because it is made in Africa. They refused to listen to reason.

The drama surrounding this cure started when the Madagascan President, Andry Rajoelina, claimed that WHO’s hesitation to declare the drug, branded COVID-Organics, as a potent cure for COVID-19 is because Madagascar is an African country and the 60th in world poverty ranking. He claimed that 55 Madagascan COVID-19 patients were treated with the herbal drink and they have all been cured. He also explained that COVID-Organics was developed by a research institute known as Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, but he failed to answer the questions surrounding clinical trials and tests.

The accusations by the Madagascan president is unfounded because WHO has not approved any reported newly developed drugs for COVID-19 and should, therefore, not jump in to approve those whose contents, indications, contra-indications, effects and adverse effects are not known. But this accusation played both political and economic role for the country. By playing the victim, the country has turned the world’s attention towards her and has used the campaign to offer to the world that which it craved for – cure and prevention of COVID-19. Many African countries have purchased the medicine for the treatment of their COVID-19 patients. Even Nigeria has joined the bandwagon of buyers though Lauretta Onoochie, the Personal Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Media, revealed in her Twitter page that the consignment Nigeria is flying to Madagascar to pick is “a gift” from the generous country.

As we wait for verification, approval and confirmation from the countries that purchased this Madagascan COVID-19 cure (which should be out within the next ten days according to Rajoelina), let us turn to our numerous agbo sellers, agbo makers and herbal drug mixers and ask them, “HOW FAR?”

There is no market in this country that doesn’t have megaphones mounted in strategic places for herbal drug sellers. These people continue to remind us that we have everything it takes to heal diseases embedded in plants and that we should stop patronising “chemical drugs”. They also discourage people from going to hospitals because doctors make sickness worse, or that they treat symptoms without treating the sickness. Don’t get me wrong, I know that herbal drugs work, at least I used Dogonyaro to treat malaria during my service year in Zamfara because I noticed that most of the drugs sold in Kaura Namoda were uncertified by NAFDAC. My point here is that these people need to come out to prove their worth.

When COVID-19 started its ravage in the country, some herbal healers came out to claim that they have the cure for the disease and invited the people and the government to send patients to them. Even some religious “healers” made their own claims too. The herbalists’ claims were not tested as the government did not send patients to them nor take them to patients. Of course, even if they healed any private individual, they wouldn’t come out to say so because they may be arrested. But with the discovery and the release of COVID-Organics, the herbalists have their opportunities to show their skills.

Concerning Nigerian herbalists being given the opportunity to also show their skills, BBC Pidgin reported that the DG of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, invited interested traditional medical practitioners on Wednesday, 13 May 2020 to submit their applications and drugs for clinical trials. She said that Nigerian traditional medical practitioners and academics only claim the potency of their drugs on social media and other media outlets without approaching NAFDAC for testing and approval. She revealed that of all the people claiming expertise on treating COVID-19 only one person has submitted an application. She, however, noted that the individual that submitted the application wishes to treat the symptoms of COVID-19 and not to cure the disease.

So here is an open door, and window, for all the owners of the megaphones blaring away in our markets. They need to hear about this opportunity and make use of it. All they need to do is conduct research, which they have obviously been doing before, and then bring up a cure just like Madagascar did. Nigeria too has herbs and roots that can cure everything.

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2 thoughts on “Madagascan Covid-Organics: A Challenge to Nigerian Herbalists

  1. It’s a welcome development for the African continent, I have opined to the view that we can get off this siege only if we begin to look inwards for our natural roots as there’s a huge potentials in its appraisal.
    Though, we have herbal medical practitioners in Nigeria but the fact still remains their researches are not been supported by the Nigerian government, the case of Madagascar was evident to the fact that there was a stimulation by the national governmental research agency to address the need for an indigenous mechanism for curing CoVid 19.
    The case in Nigeria ?? is different as our homeland agencies seek for asylus cure of the pandemic from the international community without recourse on our local tribesmen who can actually do a good job in prescribing a solution for the virus.
    With the renewed commitment from the Nigerian government on bringing herbal health partners to the frontline we sure hope of having a new tune, apparently, the research done by Prof. Iwu and that conducted by His royal Majesty, Oba Adeyeye.O, the Ooni of Ife can also be encapsulated into spotlight for the present realities to take a positive stride.

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    1. Let’s hope there will be positive changes towards the development of our herbal medicines. But I believe government shouldn’t do everything. Like NAFDAC has said, those that have developed COVID-19 cure should come forward for clinical tests and approval. If any of the submissions comes close to a cure, I can bet you that investors will surface and overwhelm the inventor.

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