COVID-19: WHO urges Madagascar to scientifically test herbal remedy

World Health Organisation (WHO) has urged Madagascar to scientifically test a herbal remedy, which President Andry Rajoelina claims cure .

WHO Africa director Matshidiso Moeti made call on Thursday.

“We have offered to support design of a study to look into this product,” Moeti said.

Moeti said of the global body had with the president and health minister to discuss under which conditions such a study take place to determine the efficacy of the product.

“We are not discouraging the product but we like for it to be tried out. So we are (making it broadly available), it’s based on some evidence,” the director said.

The herbal remedy, called “COVID Organics” and prepared by the Malagasy Institute for Applied Research, is made out of artemisia, a plant cultivated on the Indian Ocean island.

Despite a of scientific evidence, Rajoelina touted the remedy has already cured some Madagascans of .

Children returning to school have been required to take it.

“This plant strengthens immunity and protects against numerous viruses and fever and especially lung diseases,” Rajoelina said.

Meanwhile, the institute’s director general, Charles Andrianjara has spoken only of the remedy being preventative.

The remedy is being distributed for free to vulnerable people and sold commercially.

In early May, Tanzanian President John Magufuli announced he had placed an order for “COVID Organics.” (dpa/NAN)