The Director of Public Health at the Ghana Health Service (GHS), Dr Badu Sarkodie, has revealed that the government of Madagascar has offered its COVID-19 herbal cure, COVID-Organics, to the government of Ghana for use in treating the pandemic, which has, so far, killed 18 out of the 3,091 people infected so far.
Speaking at a press briefing in Accra on Thursday, 7 May 2020 on the COVID-19 situation in Ghana, Dr Sarkodie: “I believe that a quantity might be made available to the country and we will ensure collaboration with FDA”.
“They [Madagascar] have to do some assessment and then we take it from there”, he told journalists.
“So, I will not be able to say whether it will be used or not, but I think they have made an offer and we can take a look at it,” he added.
Meanwhile, in addition to the COVID-Organics (CVO) already marketed in the form of herbal tea, a new injectable solution of the same product is under clinical trials in Madagascar, according to the country’s president.
Andry Rajoelina said on Monday his government was already collaborating with foreign doctors and researchers on the matter, looking at alternative research possibilities but still on the trail of the Artemisia plant – the main component of CVO.
“A pharmaceutical factory will be set up within a month to increase the production capacity of COVID Organics. It will be administered in other forms such as injections,” Rajoelina said on Twitter.
Last month, Rajoelina officially launched the CVO, a herbal concoction claiming that it can prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus. The drug was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research.
But, the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against any self-medication and said that it has not recommended any medicine as a cure for the COVID-19.
Known under the scientific name of Artemesia Annua, the plant of Chinese origin was first imported to Madagascar in the 1970s to treat malaria.
According to Rajoelina, Madagascar produces 3,000 tons of Artemisia every year.
“From now on, we will no longer export Artemisia. But, we will proceed with the transformation of this plant on our own territory,” he said.
The new form of CVO will easily reach other countries in Europe and on other continents, according to Rajoelina.
Meanwhile, CVO in the form of herbal tea continues to be distributed in Madagascar.
“I encourage Malagasy farmers to cultivate Artemisia in order to increase our production capacity amounting to 3,000 tons per year. The value in tonnes of Artemisia is $3,000 vs $350 for rice,” Rajoelina said.
Madagascar has donated CVO, which is claimed to cure the COVID-19 to several African countries.
The country has confirmed 149 COVID-19 cases so far, with no deaths and 99 recoveries, according to figures compiled by the US-based Johns Hopkins University.
Rajoelina has also extended a state of emergency in the country put in place against the virus.