Malagasy President Andry Rajoelina on Monday swept criticism of the efficacy and dangers of the potion he touts as a remedy for the coronavirus, denouncing a condescending attitude towards African medicine.
“‘If it were not Madagascar and if it was a European country which had discovered this remedy, would there be as many doubts? I do not think so,” assured Mr. Rajoelina during a interview at France 24 and Radio France International (RFI).
Madagascar has provided its people and several African countries with a drink made from artemisia, a plant with a recognized therapeutic effect against malaria, by claiming that it prevented and treated Covid-19.
The possible benefits of this herbal tea, called Covid Organics, have not been validated by any scientific study.
The World Health Organization (WHO) warned African leaders on Thursday against the temptation to promote and use the Malagasy potion without scientific tests.
Chief promoter of this decoction, Mr. Rajoelina reaffirmed its effectiveness on Monday.
“The proof that we can show now is obviously the healing of our patients,” he pleaded, “there is currently no death in Madagascar.”
To date, 183 cases of Covid-19 infections have been reported on the Big Island, including 105 healings and no deaths.
“I think the problem is that (this product) comes from Africa and we cannot accept, we cannot accept that a country like Madagascar … has implemented this formula to save the world “, lamented the head of state.
“Nothing will prevent us from moving forward, neither a country, nor an organization,” insisted Andry Rajoelina in response to the warnings from the WHO.
Asked about the absence of clinical trials confirming the virtues of his herbal tea, he recalled that it had “the status of an improved traditional remedy” and therefore required, before being distributed, only “clinical observation according to indications from the guide drawn up by WHO “.
“We have respected the universally recognized ethical standards in clinical studies and research,” insisted the Madagascan president.
“It is a war (against Covid-19), but it is not the military force or the economic power which play currently, but God”, concluded Mr. Rajoelina, “the Lord gave us the medicinal plants to help our country and the world fight this disease. “