With no approved drugs for the new coronavirus, some Africans are considering traditional medication.
The use of medicinal plants as a fundamental component of the African traditional healthcare system is perhaps the oldest and the most assorted of all therapeutic systems, says Fawzi Mahomoodally.
According to the scientist from Mauritius, in many parts of rural Africa, traditional healers prescribing medicinal plants are the most easily accessible and affordable health resource available to the local community and at times the only therapy that subsists.
Madagascar’s “Covid – Organics” treatment
Traditional African herbs and plants are being used as alternative medicines for the new coronavirus disease in some countries in the continent.
An example is a country like Madagascar, where traditional medicine is being used to cure coronavirus patients.
President Andry Rajoelina announced on State Television Sunday, April 19, that Madagascar will launch Monday, April 20 an improved traditional remedy both curative and preventive by researchers from the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, (IMRA), Antananarivo.
“Madagascar will launch tomorrow < CVO or Covid-Organics > improved traditional remedy composed of Artemisia & Malagasy medicinal plants following scientific studies by IMRA (Malagasy Institute for Applied Research). 1st clinical tests are encouraging, 1st step completed!”, he said in a tweet.
Artemisia annua, also known as sweet wormwood, is a common type of wormwood native to temperate Asia, but naturalized in many countries.
President Rajoelina says Madagascar produces the largest quantity and best quality of Artemisia annua in Africa. The plant is equally used to treat malaria and fever.
Professor Albert Rakoto Ratsimamanga, founder of IMRA, was the first to study Artemisia annua in Madagascar.
Madagascar’s “Covid-Organics” has already been used as treatment on some coronavirus patients in the country.
President Rajoelina says “the results are encouraging. Therapeutic trials will continue from April 20.”
Madagascar has recorded 121 coronavirus cases with no deaths, as of April 20, 2020.
Wearing of face masks in public is compulsory in Madagascar, the government says masks will be distributed in public places for free.