Madagascar Tonic

Madagascar ‘Tonic’ Unable to Cure COVID-19, Says Nigeria’s Health Minister

The Nigerian government on Thursday rejected the much talked about Madagascar herb tonic, saying it did not show any evidence that it has real curative properties against the COVID-19.

The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said this in Abuja at the 52nd joint national briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19.

According to him, the National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) has shared its final report on the evaluation of the COVID Organics from Madagascar and that the initial report had showed that its main ingredient is the same as Artemisia anua.

“While the preparation at high dose showed activity in reducing the frequency of cough, it did not show any evidence that it has real curative properties against COVID-19.

“However, we shall continue to support all genuine efforts towards finding local COVID-19 cures,” Ehanire said.

The minister also said that the COVID-19 cases recorded daily over the past weeks now fluctuate within the 500 to 700 bracket, with 543 new cases in the past 24 hours, bringing the confirmed total number in Nigeria so far to 38,344, of which 15,815 were successfully treated and discharged.

“We have regrettably recorded 813 fatalities, mostly with co-morbidities and tested a total of 247,825 persons in all.

“We can rightly assume from the exponentially increasing numbers, that the pool of potentially infectious persons in the community, is rising and with that, the risk of infection for citizens at all levels of society, since a very significant number of persons testing positive is not in observation or treatment,” the minister said.

He however commended persons of influence in society, who tested positive for COVID-19 and came out publicly to declare it and entrust themselves to prescribed treatment. He said that those concerned do the nation a world of good by showing that there is no shame and nothing to hide about COVID-19, and they also contribute immensely to building confidence in the Health System.

While commending the nation’s health care providers for their efforts, the minister said that despite this, the focus is still on prevention, being better and cheaper than cure. Ehanire said that the Federal Ministry of Health through the Nigerian Center for Disease Control (NCDC) now has 59 molecular diagnostic laboratories for COVID-19 test activated. He also disclosed that all states of the federation, including the FCT are receiving support from the COVID-19 response through the Regional Diseases Surveillance Enhancement (REDISSE) Project.

“With this support, all states of the federation will receive N100m to enhance high impact priority response activities. The soon to be reactivated BHCPF will join the funding pool,” Ehanire said.

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