Editorial : Africa’s herbal remedy to fight COVID-19 must not be discounted

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While the world is feverishly looking for a vaccine that can cure the COVID-19 pandemic that is ravaging the global community, the Republic of Madagascar has come out with a herbal remedy it believes is the answer to the world’s quest for a cure.

Madagascar’s Minister of Communication, Lalatiana Andriamanarivo has come out to say 37 African countries has so far requested for Madagascar’s COVID-19 Organics (CVO) remedy, which is rather interesting.

It is interesting because the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned against the use of CVO without medical supervision and cautioned against self-medication.

However, Matshidiso Moeti, regional director of WHO office in Africa said WHO has been working in the traditional medicine sector. “We work very hard to facilitate collaboration and to incorporate traditional medicine into national health systems”.

What is even more encouraging is that last week WHO Africa said that it is in touch with Madagascar over its herbal drink COVID Organics (CVO) which is encouraging because at this material moment, the world desperately needs a cure to this novel coronavirus that has stunned the world.

CVO was discovered by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (MIAR) which means it is the outcome of extensive research and did not just emanated because of COVID-19.

Andriamanarivo stated that though ECOWAS, as a body has not issued an official statement to approve of the remedy, several member states of ECOWAS has made request for the concoction and has been supplied.

They include Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Niger, Nigeria and Togo, among others.  Well, if the herbal concoction proves to be efficacious, then this is the time to make a case for African intellectual property.

For far too long, African intellectual properties have been stolen from the continent and repackaged back to the continent for sale and we should desist from assisting such intellectual theft which only goes to deprive the continent its due.

That is why this Paper believes the response from 37 African states is positive because Africans must come together to develop their own institutions that will work for Africa.

Lest we forget, several of the drugs we use today in tablet forms from the western world are medicines from Africa that we have not been able to caption well with appropriate labels, which is in turn being sold to us at expensive prices.

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