Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Madagascar begins clinical trials for ‘Covid-19 vaccine’ from herbal plant

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

Days after launching a herbal drug that he touted as cure and treatment for coronavirus, Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina has announced the start of clinical trials for a vaccine.

The vaccine will be produced from the artemisia plant which has been the source of the Covid-Organics tonic.

The artemisia plant is the source of an ingredient used in a malaria treatment and other Malagasy plants.

President Rajoelina said the vaccine will be developed using extracts from the artemisia plant, just like the Covid-Organics drink.

He said work on the vaccine this month will get support from scientists in the US in the area of research.

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In an address on new covid-19 measures in his country he said “A pharmaceutical factory will be set up within a month to increase the production capacity of CovidOrganics. It will be administered in other forms such as injections.”

The WHO had cautioned against using the herbal drug produced by Madagascar saying there isn’t enough evidence of its efficacy.

But President Rajoelina said his country was also pursuing a validation of the Covid-Organics by the World Heath Organization (WHO).

He also asked local farmers to increase production of the herbal plant.

“I encourage Malagasy farmers to cultivate Artemisia in order to increase our production capacity amounting to 3000 tonnes per year. The value in tonnes of Artemisia is $ 3000 vs $ 350 for rice,” he said.

Mad rush for tonic

Many African countries have already received consignment of the much touted herbal drug.

Equatorial Guinea was the first country to take delivery of large quantities of the Covid-Organics.

Republic of Congo was the next country after Equatorial Guinea to order for Covid-Organics and a delivery was made to Guinea-Bissau as well.

Tanzania has also joined in ordering and President John Magufuli said on TV that “I am communicating with Madagascar, and they have already written a letter saying they have discovered some medicine.”

“We will despatch a flight to bring the medicine so that Tanzanians can also benefit. So as the government we are working day and night,” he said.

Madagascar's President Andry Rajoelina drinking Covid-organics

Madagascar President
President Rajoelina urged schoolchildren to sip the tonic throughout the day. Photo: AFP

Madagascar is also donating the herbal drug to ECOWAS countries as it hopes the continent will unite behind its remedy for the coronavirus.

Covid-Organics was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (Imra).

President Andry Rajoelina has been inviting his fellow African leaders to patronize the drug he said has been effective in treating patients.

Many countries have already started work on a vaccine for coronavirus but results are expected in over a year.

Dismay as DR Congo ‘offers its citizens’ for Covid-19 vaccine testing


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