Tanzania has taken the virus fight to another level this week, as the Tanzanian President John Magufuli promised to fetch the rather controversial Madagascan local herbs believed to cure the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) was fulfilled yesterday.
The Madagascan cure
According to information from The Citizen, and various images circulated in several news outlets, Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation Prof Palamagamba Kabudi, landed in Antananarivo a few minutes after midday for the mission.
The Tanzanian minister and his host drunk the herbal medicine which is designated for lab testing before administering to patients national wide as argued by Magufuli last week.
Madagascar’s herbal cure named Covid Organics (CVO) which has received calls from World Health Organization (WHO) to subject it for clinical trials will also be analyzed and researched by the Tanzanian National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR).
“We are advising the government of Madagascar to take this product through a clinical trial and we are prepared to collaborate with them,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, told a joint media briefing with the WHO and World Economic Forum
Further, the CVO and other related virus treatment cures have also received a critical message from the global health body, as Moeti warned that “We would caution and advise countries against adopting a product that has not been through clinical tests for safety and efficacy.”
As the region battles with over 51,000 cases and nearly 2,000 people succumb to the virus, the WHO chief argued that “We are concerned about the impact that Covid-19 will have on the ability of African countries to progress towards universal health coverage”
On that note, speaking today at a news conference in Dar es Salaam, Prof Kabudi took the liberty to set the record straight, saying “I want to make it clear among Tanzanians that we haven’t come with medicine to distribute among the citizens, rather we have brought a consignment for research and analysis,” said Prof Kabudi
However, as Tanzania keeps on exploring various treatment options within the traditional medicine landscape, the minister argued that “they didn’t provide us with the medicine that is ready for use. Nobody in the delegation tested the medicine, it was only me with my Madagascar counterpart just as the demonstration of our respect for the donation,”
So far, Senegal has approved the use of Madagascan cure.
COVID-19 updates delay
It has been 8 days since the last update came through from health authorities in mainland Tanzania, whereby the numbers stood at 480. Hence sparking government critics on social media to question the update trend, hence yesterday ministry of health Ummy Mwalimu cleared the update vacuum.
“It has been some 7 days since we last released updates on the COVID-19 updates because we are doing some improvements at the National Laboratories and the process is set to be completed in a few days and after that, we shall give regular updates,” the minister argued.
The latter comes as last Sunday, the National health community Laboratories came under scrutiny from President Magufuli for inconsistent results after a goat and a pawpaw samples, they were provided (unknowingly) reportedly tested positive of the Covid-19.
This scenario was followed by the creation of a nine-member team to oversee the investigation on the conduct of the national laboratory in handling COVID-19 samples.