The World Health Organization
(WHO) has recently called for clinical trials of Madagascar’s Covid Organics, a
herbal drink that is said to prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel
coronavirus or COVID-19
“We are advising the
government of Madagascar to take this product through a clinical trial and we
are prepared to collaborate with them,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional
director for Africa, told a joint media briefing with the WHO and World
“We would caution and
advise countries against adopting a product that has not been through clinical
tests for safety and efficacy,” Moeti said.
“We are concerned about
the impact that COVID-19 will have on the ability of African countries to
progress towards Universal health coverage,” she added.
There are over 51,000
confirmed virus cases in the African continent, with more than 17,000
associated recoveries and 1,900 deaths, according to the WHO.
“We know that to stop the
spread of this virus, key public health measures need to be in place in every
community… even where cases have not been reported, readiness capacities
should be prepositioned,” the WHO official said.
She added that WHO was
“working with countries to leverage the assets they have in place already,
built in preparedness for Ebola and HIV, TB and polio program among others, as
well as to scale-up coordination, mobilize people and repair supply chains
globally and locally.”
“It’s not a matter of
simply today we have lockdowns and tomorrow everything is opened up. It has to
be gradual with the most essential parts of the economy being opened up
first,” Moeti said.
Several African countries have
lifted the partial lockdown imposed to stem the spread of the virus, but the
ban on gatherings is still in place.
While educational facilities
remain closed in most African countries, businesses have been allowed to
African governments say there
is need to resume economic activities with imperative to contain the virus.
Moeti said they have
guidelines from WHO on “progressively releasing these measures.”