Dr Patrick Kuma-Aboagye, the Director General of the Ghana Health Service (GHS), has said Ghana is ready to make an assessment on ‘Covid-Organics’- the purported COVID-19 cure from Madagascar.
He said when that herbal product is made available the GHS would collaborate with the Food and Drugs Authority to ascertain its potency and advise the public accordingly.
Dr Kuma-Aboagye said this at a media briefing on Thursday in Accra on the latest Coronavirus management situation in the country.
He was responding to a question posed by a journalist as to whether Ghana is considering the use of the Covid-Organics as part of its treatment measures. ‘Covid-Organics’, is the herbal remedy produced from Artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy against malaria, and other indigenous herbs as stated by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research in Madagascar.
The plant was first imported into the island nation in the 1970s from China to treat malaria.
It is now marketed in bottles as a herbal tea, while the President of Madagascar, Mr Andry Rajoelina has said clinical trials were underway in the country to produce a form that could be injected into the body.
As COVID-19 spreads across Africa and leaders put their countries in lockdown, President Rajoelina last month launched the herbal remedy that he claimed could prevent and cure the disease.
The announcement caught medical experts, who have scrambled to find a cure for the disease that has killed more than 252,000 and infected at least 3.6 million people globally, by surprise
Meanwhile, the African Union said, it is in discussion with Madagascar with a view to obtain technical data regarding the safety and efficiency of the herbal remedy.
In an attempt to reassure people and brush aside safety concerns, Mr Rajoelina took a dose of Covid-Organics at the launch event and said it was safe to be given to children.
The World Health Organization (WHO) have also advised people against using untested remedies for COVID-19.
“Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world,” WHO, the United Nations health agency, said in a statement on Monday.
“Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice are natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical,” the statement said.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warned people against using unproven remedies.
“There is no scientific evidence that any of these alternative remedies can prevent or cure the illness caused by COVID-19. In fact, some of them may not be safe to consume,” the CDC said.