Mbabane: Despite claiming to have found a cure for the COVID-19 pandemic, Madagascar has recorded its first death who is a 57-year-old hospital worker, who died on Saturday, May 16 and bore underlying diabetes and high blood pressure before infection.
The Republic of Madagascar has identified the Artemisia plant as the remedial cure for COVID-19 with Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina advocating for its use across Africa and the globe.
In Eswatini, the Madagascar proclaimed cure is known as Umhlonyane. Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina mentioned that the Indian Ocean Island has used the herb for as long as it has existed and proved to be essential in the cure for respiratory diseases such as asthma and flu as well as other respiratory diseases.
The imperativeness of finding the cure has been reported as urgent, with more than 200 million undernourished people in Africa and the COVID-19 pandemic making the situation worse.
So far 72 336 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Africa with 2 475 deaths. Eswatini has two deaths while Madagascar has one, who is the 57-year-old hospital worker who died on Saturday, May 16.
However, according to World Health Organisation (WHO), there is no evidence that the plant is effective in preventing or treating the coronavirus.
World Health Organization’s Africa Director, Dr. Matshidiso Moeti cautioned against countries adopting a product which has not been taken through tests to see its efficacy against COVID-19. The world body warned against the use of the herb without medical supervision and cautioned against self-medication. This was after the Madagascan President had slammed the global health body for not endorsing the organic herbal plant.
The Madagascar government has since relented and have collaborated with foreign doctors and scientists to study alternative research possibilities, through trials of the Artemisia plant.
Madagascar, with a population of over 27 million, has recorded 4.71 million confirmed COVID-19 cases, 114 recoveries and 1 death while Eswatini has 203 confirmed cases, 73 recoveries and 2 deaths. President Rajoelina has attributed the long life of his people to the use of herbal plants including Artemisia afra which is ingested as a premixed drink.
Advocating for its use the Madagascan president said COVID Organics, needless to say, are a preventative and curative remedy against COVID-19 and they work very well.
“The herbal drink, developed by local scientists, comes from traditional medicinal plants, including Artemisia arrua, which is native to China,” the president said.
He said the plant is a very popular herbal medicine and one of the most frequently used herbs in parts of the world, adding that traditional medicine continues to be widely used across Africa with 80 percent of the Madagascan population lent on it. The herbal plant is said to be very accessible and affordable, especially for those living in rural areas with little access to health care systems.
The speedy discovery of the COVID-19 cure will assist in the resuscitation of the global economies which have seen a sharp downturn amid the pandemic, with Eswatini economists suggesting that the country’s GDP is forecasted to contract by 1.9 percent during 2020.
Local economists advised that if a solution will not be found soonest contractions will fall even further due to limitations on business operations effected by the government. Eswatini’s situation is worsened by the fact that even before the outbreak its economy was on dire straits and was the center of discussion on all corners. This was evidenced by the drafting of the Economic Strategic National Roadmap towards resuscitation of the economy, with sectors such as the tourism industry being singled out as critical players.
Amid the world’s frantic search for the COVID-19 cure the Eswatini Institute for Research in Traditional Medicine and Indigenous Food Plants (EIRMIP) has become the center of focus and a major player and might have to take leaf from its African neighbours, Madagascar, who have approved the use of the herbal plant through the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA) in April.
It has also been reported that other countries such as Tanzania have not hesitated to copy from Madagascar and in May, Madagascar Foreign Minister, Tehindrazanarivelo Djacoba, introduced the herb in packages to that country as a remedy against COVID-19 in Antananarivo, Madagascar.
Last month, the German Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces announced its partnership with an American company to test the plant’s extracts and derivatives against COVID-19. Madagascar has also sent the herb to several other African countries including Comoros Island, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Niger, Tanzania, Nigeria, Senegal and Chad. The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) in Nigeria has undertaken laboratory tests of the herbal drug from Madagascar.