President Muhammadu Buhari has endorsed that Madagascar’s COVID-19 cure syrup be brought to Nigeria, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on coronavirus control, Boss Mustapha, said on Monday.
Confirming the development, Mustapha who doubles as the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), during the PTF briefing in Abuja, said: The Madagascar COVID-19 solution would go through standard validation process before it could be considered for use in Nigeria.
“It has been sent to Guinea Bissau by the President or Prime Minister of Madagascar and certain allocations have been made to different countries. We have an indication of the quantity that has been allocated to Nigeria and we are supposed to make an arrangement to freight it out of Guinea Bissau to Nigeria.
“I’ve received instructions from Mr President to make arrangements to freight it home, with a clear instruction that I should subject it to the validation process similar to what will happen to any other medicine or syrup or vaccine that is discovered or created internally. So, it will be subjected to the same process before it is put into any form of use. There’ll be no exception for that”, he said.
Also speaking at the briefing, Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said the herbal drug will be subjected to analysis by the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) to determine its efficacy and safety before it can be adopted for the treatment of COVID-19.
“We are going to get samples of the herb of the botanical product for analyses and also probably use that opportunity to speak with the health authorities there particularly the scientific community on how they use it.
“We will also give it to the research community here with us to examine and see what they can do with it.
“We understand that it is something called Artemisia Annua, which also grows here. But we would like to get that sample and compare it with the strain here to know if they are exactly identical or similar and then see what properties it has.
“It will be subjected to analysis to find out what works in there and how it works and is used in getting a cure. All countries around the world are interested in finding a cure and we are not different; So we’ll look at all options and promises that have been made.
“Before we give any of these medicines to our people we will make sure they are actually safe and that they work.”
The Madeglucyl – derived from the Eugenia Jambolana Plant, with artemisia as its primary ingredient. Artemisia is indigenous to China and was imported to Madagascar in the 1970s, where it is now widely grown on the island.
The plant’s active compound, artemisinin, is a recognised antimalarial treatment. It was developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research which was established in 1957 by Albert Rakoto Ratsimamanga, one of the country’s pre-eminent scientists, to research how local plants and traditional practices could be used to treat the disease.
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country in the Indian Ocean. It is approximately 400 kilometres off the coast of East Africa. It is reputed to be the world’s second largest island country.