Saturday, June 22, 2024

Coronavirus: What is Madagascar’s ‘herbal remedy’ Covid-Organics?


As COVID-19 spread across Africa and leaders put their countries in lockdown, Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina last month launched an herbal remedy that he claimed could prevent and cure the disease.

The announcement caught medical experts, who have scrambled to find a cure for the disease that has killed more than 252,000 and infected at least 3.6 million people globally, by surprise.

Rajoelina, a former DJ who in 2009 at the age of 34 became the continent’s youngest national leader, claimed at the launch that the remedy, named Covid-Organics, had already cured two people.

“This herbal tea gives results in seven days,” Rajoelina, 45, told journalists and diplomats in April.

Soldiers have since been going door-to-door in the Indian Ocean island country, which has reported 149 cases and no fatalities, dispensing the concoction.

What is in Covid-Organics?

The herbal remedy is produced from artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy against malaria, and other indigenous herbs, according to the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, which developed the beverage.

The plant was first imported into the island nation in the 1970s from China to treat malaria.

It is now marketed in bottles as a herbal tea, while Rajoelina has said clinical trials are under way in Madagascar to produce a form that can be injected into the body.

Is it safe or effective?

Following Rajoelina’s claims, the World Health Organization (WHO) advised people against using untested remedies for COVID-19.

“Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world,” WHO, the United Nations health agency, said in a statement on Monday.

“Even if therapies are derived from traditional practice and natural, establishing their efficacy and safety through rigorous clinical trials is critical,” the statement added.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also warned people against using unproven remedies.

“There is no scientific evidence that any of these alternative remedies can prevent or cure the illness caused by COVID-19. In fact, some of them may not be safe to consume,” the CDC said.

Meanwhile, the African Union said it was in discussion with Madagascar with a view to obtain technical data regarding the safety and efficiency of the herbal remedy.

In an attempt to reassure people and brush aside safety concerns, Rajoelina took a dose of Covid-Organics at the launch event and said it was safe to be given to children.

Has it been exported?

Several African countries, including Tanzania, Liberia, Equatorial Guinea and Guinea-Bissau, have either placed orders or have received consignments of the remedy.

On Sunday, Tanzanian President John Magufuli said he was dispatching a plane to Madagascar to collect a shipment of the tonic.

“I’m communicating with Madagascar,” Magufuli said during a speech, adding: “They have got a medicine. We will send a flight there and the medicine will be brought in the country so that Tanzanians too can benefit.”

Meanwhile in Guinea-Bissau, President Umaro Sissoco Embalo went to the airport on Saturday to receive a shipment of the beverage donated by the Madagascan leader.

COVID-19 has spread to all but one country in Africa, Lesotho. As of Tuesday, at least 1,862 people across the continent have died from the virus.

Source Al Jazeera


  1. While our friends in diaspora are busy criticising africa and how we handling this virus, Africa has dealt with it far much better than their so called developed adopted countries. Now we are even on course to find a cure. Tarino is this laughable ? You will continue laughing by yourself in isolation-a sign of madness

  2. if the concoction is safe let us get it as well.we should not wait for a white man.let us believe in ourselves.

  3. KZ, you or impostor, should be in jail. Zambians will never forget crimes against them. You harassed, beaten, maimed, humiliated, kidnapped, fired guns and shot Zambians and dehumanised them. Police should have arrested you for your widely known criminalities. Zambians deserve justice and time is coming to get it. PF regime hasn’t the capacity to prosecute any case of corruption in Zambia, Hence, your boasting that you made Lungu win elections. So, you hold president Lungu at ransom for your crimes. However, cleansing yourself on this site will not wash up, records, living witnesses exist and will face them in court one day.

  4. African leaders, support locally produced we must never heavily rely on outsiders to decide for us. If the Madagascar herbal organic for covid-19 is working let’s try and give to the patients. The problem is African Union, it is supposed to show leadership and give direction to its member states but there is power vacuum.

  5. What is wrong with some Africans?

    If you have found herbal treatment, just use it on your people. Why do you need the WHO to clap for you? Just use your juice to “treat” those that want to drink it. No need to start making noise.

    By the way, there has been a reported death in Madagascar due to covid. Maybe they need to add more something something to this cocktail they are making.

  6. “The herbal remedy is produced from artemisia, a plant with proven efficacy against malaria”
    Malaria kills over 350,000 people in Africa every year.
    Why not use the herbal remedy to prevent malaria which kills more people in Africa than the corona virus.
    “As of Tuesday, at least 1,862 people across the continent have died from the virus”.
    The DJ and many other African leaders have misplaced priorities.

  7. Africans have survived on the use of traditional medicines for hundreds of years. Otherwise Malaria would have wipe them out before the Europeans came. Yet we have been made to believe that clinically tested medicines from western pharmacists are more superior than ours.

    We need to believe in ourselves and also create our own African pharmaceutics. This crisis is a good opportunity for African doctors to collaborate and set their own medical standard for the continent. It is time to stop understimating ourselves by always letting our development be measured by foreign standards.

  8. @ Nine ChaleT

    The problem with Western Countries, is that they would rather make pay huge sums/profits from Africa by forcing us to import there so called ”clinically tested” medicines! Did we carry out clinical trials on mululwe to check for efficacy? Madagascar here we come!


    UPND President *Hakainde Hichilema* aka *Bally* will this evening, Monday 18.05.2020 feature on *ISO Radio, 93.5 FM* to discuss various national issues.

    *Time* : 18.20 hrs

    The Programme will stream live on,

    *Hakainde Hichilema* facebook
    *UPND media* facebook watch
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  10. Of all the indigenous organics Africans have been using why should anyone stop them from trying on artemisia? If it doesn’t work so be it, a trial like any other medicine . we can leave it to God’s grace

  11. When you are sick, you just swallow these things, do you need to wait for efficacy and so on, if the newly discovered wonder herbal drink was suspect, even their President who tasted it could have parked by now. Lets just order, send Presidential challenger to go and pick them with kapaso Kaizer Zulu coming with them medication guarding it on the plane


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