The Federal Government health agencies including the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration Control (NAFDAC) have received Madagascar’s COVID-19 treatment drug for evaluation.
The samples were brought to the country on May 16 by Guinea Bissau President Umaro Sissoco Embaló.
Minister of Health Dr. Osagie Ehanire said on Thursday that the samples were found to be in two varieties – one for prevention, the other for treatment.
The other government agencies that also got samples of “COVID Organics” are National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD), and Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR).
The herbal solution will be thoroughly x-rayed and analysed by the agencies to determine the constituents, toxicological, and efficacy.
Dr. Ehanire said: “Global efforts to find a cure for COVID-19, in which Nigeria is participating in the WHO solidarity trial, will be reviewed by our panel of experts, as WHO suspended the trial, due to alarm raised by a medical journal, on the safety of some drugs being tried, like hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine and their combinations.
“Proposals for the trial of local remedies for the disease have been sent to the relevant research and testing agencies for scientific evaluation.
“Samples of the Madagascar herbs have been given to three agencies of the Ministry of Health – NAFDAC, NIPRD and NIMR. We have written to the Ministry of Science and Technology to expect samples because they also have agencies that conduct research on phytomedicines.
“These are normal processes for new preparations to be approved for use in Nigeria and include toxicological and efficacy tests and clinical trials. The government will investigate all genuine efforts to find homegrown solutions to the pandemic.”
The Director-General of the West Africa Health Organization (WAHO), Prof. Stanley Okoli, also added that it will support traditional practitioners with claims of either an outright cure for COVID-19 or its treatment, with clinical trials.
He stressed that WAHO is yet to endorse Madagascar’s solution for the treatment and management of COVID-19 patients.