Leaders of top African countries have thrown their weight behind the Covid-19 organic ‘miracle’ drug, COVID Organics (CVO), produced by Madagascar, to cure the coronavirus disease ravaging the world presently.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya and Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, were part of a teleconference call involving 10 African Heads of State that discussed the adoption of Covid-19 organic medicine.
The meeting which held on Saturday, May 2, 2020, was convened at the instance of the Madagascan President, Andry Nirina Rajoelina to discuss in detail, the efficacy of the Covid Organics Medicine (CVO) that was developed by Madagascar in treating Covid-19 patients.
Presidents present in the meeting were Abdul Fatah El Sisi (Egypt), President Felix Tshisekedi (DRC) Paul Kagame (Rwanda) and President Kenyatta (Kenya).
Others were Ali Bongo (Gabon), Mahamadou Issoufou (Niger), Idris Derby (Chad), Boubacar Keita (Mali), Cyril Ramaphosa (African Union Chairperson and South Africa), as well as convener Andry Rajoelina (Madagascar).
The meeting was chaired by President, who presented the product to the other Heads of States in the video conference call.
It would be recalled that the President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina had taken to Twitter on Monday, April 20, to claim, in a live demonstration, that the concoction named Covid Organics (CVO) – a form of herbal tea – is curing Covid-19 patients.
The meeting, while endorsing Madagacar’s Covid Organics (CVO), also formed a Covid-19 Ministerial Response Coordinating Committees on Health, Transport, Finance and Agriculture to respond to the various factors surrounding the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Bureau of Heads of State of the African Union also formulated a continental strategy to better prepare and respond to any new cases of the virus on the continent.
The meeting also shared experimental drugs on the deadly virus, vaccines and clinical trials that have kicked off around the world.
Kenya was earmarked as a testing ground for the United Kingdom Covid-19 vaccine but Uhuru denied knowledge of the plans.
The Heads of State formed the Africa Union Covid-19 Fund, done under the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC).
The fund is a public-private partnership that aims to raise an initial $150 million (Ksh16 billion) for immediate needs to prevent transmission and up to $400 million (Ksh52 billion) to support sustainable medical response to the COVID-19 pandemic
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari was not part of the meeting and it was not clear if he had been invited to join the teleconference or if he has been intimated on the decision arrived at by the attending to support the Madagascar Covid-19 drug.
However, Boss Mustapha, Secretary to the government of the federation (SGF) and chairman of the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19, has said that Nigeria may ask Madagascar to send a plane load of “herbal solutions” to treat COVID-19.
Mr. Mustapha who made this disclosure at a COVID-19 PTF briefing on Tuesday, 28 April, said: “I want to assure you that whatever is happening in the world, we are mindful of it and we are keeping tabs. I was reading of the experiences in Madagascar– of why everybody is drinking some solutions that have been prepared. This morning I was sharing with my wife, and I told her that probably I would request that Mr President to allow us import a plane load for a trial.
“Because, we are all navigating an unchartered cause. Nobody has ever been on this road. So, every attempt to find solution that would bring succour to our people, be rest assured that this task force is very responsible and we would do everything to ensure that we get what will benefit our people, what will help them in the processes that we find ourselves today.”
Covid-19 watchers would recall that a few hours after Madagascar President Rajoelina publicly announced the ‘miracle’ Covid Organics (CVO) herbal tea, the World Health Organization (WHO), in a statement warned against any self-medication and said that it has not recommended any medicine as a cure for the Covid-19.
WHO, in response to the launch of Covid-Organics, said, in the statement sent to the BBC, that the global organisation did not recommend “self-medication with any medicines… as a prevention or cure for Covid-19”.
It also reiterated earlier comments by WHO head Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus that there were “no short-cuts” to finding effective mediation to fight coronarvirus, adding that international trials were under way to find an effective treatment.
It has been widely reported that though the World Health Organisation (WHO) has continually warned that there is no cure yet for the virus, some vaccines have been used in clinical trials, notably in the United Kingdom, where a vaccine developed in under three months by a team at Oxford University led by Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute, was first tried on a human patient Elisa Granato in Europe, as well as the US endorsed Remdesivir drug and the famous ZPack three drug cocktail of Hydroxychloroquine, Azthromycin and Zinc Sulphate combination therapy made popular by Dr. Vladimir ‘Zev’ Zelenko, a ‘simple country’ Family Medicine Doctor in Monroe, NY.
There is also widespread suspicions however that the WHO position not to give green light to any coronavirus cure at the moment, may have been heavily influenced by the determination of Microsoft owner Bill Gates, who has made no pretences about his intentions to singularly spearhead and finance the production of a cure all coronavirus vaccine in the next nine to 18 months, that is expected to be mandatory for the 7billion people that make up the global population.
African leaders, prior to the teleconference meeting of May 2, had come under criticism by some notable voices, for not coming out openly to support Madagascar and the COVID Organics drug. Critics had taken a swipe at some African leaders for discrediting the drug without even testing it, describing the action as a result of negative stereotyping and claiming that the continents would have embraced the drug if it was announced by a country in Asia, America, or Europe.
The Kwame Nkrumah Ideological Institute (KNII), in a press release issued by Dr. Benjamin Anyagre, Executive Director of the KNII and copied to the Ghana News Agency, had called on the African Union, to support Madagascar towards marketing its newly found cure for COVID-19 and seize the golden opportunity to encourage all African countries to coordinate with the Madagascan government, to assess and order large quantities of the product, to treat the disease in their respective countries.
Other social observers also called out African leaders for their lack of support, saying the least fellow leaders could have done was send congratulatory messages to Madagascar country for their efforts, even as they noted that out of the 54 countries in the continent, only four countries; Equatorial Guinea, Congo, Guinea-Bissau and most recently Tanzania, had identified with Madagascar and ordered shipments of the Covid Organics from the country, indicating that they have very much embraced the remedy and had willingly opted to test it on Covid-19 patients in their countries.
The teleconference meeting of the African leaders, has come against the backdrop of some criticism by African health experts, who called for the leaders of Madagascar and Guinea to act responsibly after they promoted solutions to protect against Covid-19 without any scientific backing to support their claims, especially after the elixir had been distributed to schoolchildren in Fianarantsoa, a city in one of the three regions hit by the coronavirus in Madagascar.
A statement released by the National Academy of Medicine of Madagascar (ANAMEM) described the Covid Organics thus: “It is a medicine for which the scientific evidence has not yet been established and which risks damaging the health of the population, in particular that of children,”
ANAMEM further specified in its statement that according to Malagasy law, only health professionals in health facilities are authorised to distribute medicines, not administrative structures.
“We appeal to the sense of responsibility of the competent authorities and the parents of pupils,” it added.
The Madagascar drug which is touted by President as a Covid-19 prevention and cure mixture called the Tambavy Covid-Organics, is a tonic derived from artemisia – a plant with proven efficacy in treating malaria – as well as other indigenous herbs, developed by the Madagascar Institute of Applied Research but has not been tested or approved internationally.
According to the literature: “There are two treatment protocols (curative and preventive). The state of health of Covid-19 patients who took Tambavy CVO CovidOrganics improved after 7 days and fully recovered after 10 days,” President Rajoelina had said of the mixture.