Osagie Ehanire, Minister of Health, on Thursday, said findings from the analysis of Madagascar’s COVID Organics shows that it largely contains anti-malaria components.
COVID Organics which was reportedly used in treating COVID-19 patients in Madagascar, is a herbal mixture developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research.
Recall that On May 16, Nigerian Ruler, Muhammadu Buhari, received some of the herbal remedy from the Madagascar government but said he will await research outcomes before allowing any new medicine be administered on Nigerians.
Since its launch in April, the use of the Malagasy herbal remedy to treat COVID-19 patients has been trailed by a lot of controversy.
Speaking at the bi-weekly Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19, Ehanire said a variety of the herb grows in Nigeria.
In his words: “Preliminary results of the analysis of the so-called Madagascar herbs by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) show that it is the same as the plant Artemisia anua, which is grown in the NIPRD farm. Further research on its efficacy will be conducted when the grants for research is approved.
“The so-called Madagascar herb is one component of the malaria treatment medicine. Some years ago, the government actually imported this plant and has a plantation of it in trying to develop its own production of the artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT). The plantation is still there but the process has not gone that much further.
“We are looking into seeing what has held it up but the plant is here; it was intended for producing anti-malaria, and the type we have here has a very high yield of artemisinin – which is actually the active ingredient.”
“Relevant government agencies will continue the process of evaluation to determine its effectiveness in treating COVID-19,” he added.
On Tuesday night, the Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) reported 626 new confirmed cases and 13 deaths in Nigeria.
Till date, 27110 cases have been confirmed, 10801 cases have been discharged and 616 deaths have been recorded in 35 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The 626 new cases are reported from 20 states- Lagos (193), FCT (85), Oyo (41), Edo (38), Kwara (34), Abia (31), Ogun (29), Ondo (28), Rivers (26), Osun (21), Akwa Ibom (18), Delta (18), Enugu (15), Kaduna (13), Plateau (11), Borno (8),Bauchi (7), Adamawa (5), Gombe (4), Sokoto (1).