Ghana Has Not Received Madagascar COVID-19 'Cure' — Minister Denies
The Ministry of Information captured in the media to have announced the receipt of the herbal drink in an official tweet, attributing it to the Information Minister.
The report indicated that Ghana's Food and Drugs Authority, through the Centre for Plant Medicine, had begun testing the medicine to confirm its efficacy.
But, speaking at a press briefing on Thursday, Mr Oppong Nkrumah, said Ghana had not received the preventive herbal medicine for the treatment of the coronavirus.
“Ghana has not taken any delivery of the Madagascar Covid-19 remedy,” he said, adding that, it was a wrong representation in the media that the country has taken delivery of the medicine.
The Minister also said the Government needed to engage on how to live safely with the novel coronavirus in the global ecosystem, adding that, Ghana would soon start a national conversation, dubbed, “living with the virus.”
He urged the media to lead the national conversation on living safely with the virus.
Madagascar's COVID-19 herbal remedy is produced from Artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy against malaria, but the country's President, Andry Rajoelina, endorsed the medicine as the 'cure' for COVID-19 when he launched it last month, thus bringing the global spotlight on the herbal mixture.
However, the World Health Organisation has advised against using untested remedies for COVID-19 because there is no scientific trial to establish the efficacy and safety of the medicine.
There are reports that some African countries such as Tanzania and Guinea-Bissau have planned to import the herbal mixture.
The African Union said early this month that it was in discussion with Madagascar to obtain technical data on the safety and efficiency of a herbal remedy.
The AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Amira ElFadil, convened a meeting with the Chargé d'Affaires of the Republic of Madagascar, Mr Eric Randrianantoandro, on 30th April on the matter, the Union said in a statement this month.
During the meeting, the statement said, it was agreed that Madagascar would furnish the African Union with the necessary details regarding the herbal remedy.
“Once furnished with the details, the Union, through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will review the scientific data gathered so far on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 Organics,” the statement said.
“This review will be based on global technical and ethical norms to garner the necessary scientific evidence regarding the performance of the tonic.”