The Minister of Information, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah says government has reached out to Madagascar to make available to Ghana its supposed COVID-19 herbal remedy.
According to him, when received, the product will undergo strict testing by appropriate authorities in Ghana to prove the efficacy or otherwise of the drug.
Speaking on GTV on Tuesday in a programme dubbed “#AskTheInfoMinistry on Assessing Government’s Response to the Covid19 Pandemic,” the Minister said: “We are considering it [the herbal cure]. We have reached out to them [Madagascar]. We have asked that it [should] be made available to us and like all drugs, it will be tested by FDA and in this case by the Center for Plant Medicine and if proven efficacious, we can recommend its use.”
Government had been lambasted after the Ministry of Information’s official Twitter handle wrongly quoted Oppong Nkrumah as saying that “We have received the Madagascar cure for COVID-19 and we are testing it for efficacy.”
The Ministry subsequently clarified the post saying those were not the exact words of Oppong Nkrumah but failed to apologise for the gaffe.
Background on Madagascar’s herbal cure
Madagascar’s President, Andry Rajoelina, launched a herbal coronavirus “cure” which has become the subject of discussion with many expressing divergent opinions about its efficacy.
The “COVID- Organic” is produced from the artemisia plant, the source of an ingredient used in malaria treatment and other Malagasy plants.
Andry Rajoelina has been actively promoting the plant-based tonic, COVID-Organics.
So far, countries such as Congo, Tanzania, and Guinea-Bissau have received packs of the product.
But the World Health Organisation has warned against the herbal remedy.
AU in discussions with Madagascar over herbal remedy for COVID-19
The African Union (AU) had earlier disclosed that it is in discussion with the Republic of Madagascar to obtain technical data regarding the safety and efficiency of its announced herb for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
“Once furnished with the details, the Union, through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will review the scientific data gathered so far on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 Organics. This review will be based on global technical and ethical norms to garner the necessary scientific evidence regarding the performance of the tonic,” a statement from the AU said.
Let’s rally behind Madagascar’s COVID-19 herbal remedy – Ablakwa
The Member of Parliament for North Tongu, Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa, had also condemned the prejudice the Madagascar Coronavirus “cure” has suffered.
In a tweet, he said: “The prejudice against anything from Africa must be boldly confronted.”
The lawmaker further commended the Africa Union for reaching out to the Madagascan President on the herbal medicine.
“I highly commend the African Union for reaching out to the Madagascan President, Andry Rajoelina on the wonder coronavirus herbal medicine: COVID-Organics.”
Mr. Samuel Okudzeto Ablakwa further urged all Africans to rally behind Madagascar to secure full and final scientific acceptance.