Exclusive: Madagascar’s president defends controversial homegrown Covid-19 cure

In an exclusive interview with FRANCE 24 and RFI, the Madagascan president Andry Rajoelina defended his promotion of a controversial local remedy for Covid-19 despite the absence of clinical trials. “It works really well,” he said of the Covid-Organics herbal drink. Rajoelina said that if a European country had discovered the remedy, people would not be as skeptical.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has repeatedly warned that the Covid-Organics drink, which Rajoelina of Madagascar presented as a remedy for the deadly coronavirus, has not been clinically tested.

“And if this remedy had been discovered by a European country, instead of Madagascar? Would people doubt it as much? I don’t think so,” said the president to Marc Perelman of FRANCE 24 and Christophe Boisbouvier of RFI.

The drink is derived from artemisia – a plant with proven anti-malarial properties – and other native herbs.

“What’s wrong with Covid-Organics, really? Could it be that this product is from Africa? Could it not be OK for a country like Madagascar, which is the 63rd poorest country in the world. .. to end up with (this formula) that can help save the world? “asked Rajoelina, who claims that the infusion cures patients within ten days.

>> Covid-19 in Madagascar: the controversial “miracle cure” of the president

Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Niger and Tanzania have already taken delivery of lots of Covid-Organics, which was launched last month.

“No one will stop moving forward – not a country, not an organization,” said Rajoelina in response to WHO concerns.

He said the proof of the effectiveness of the tonic was in “healing” “our patients”, calling it a “preventative and curative remedy”.

According to a count from Johns Hopkins University, Madagascar has officially reported 186 coronavirus infections and 101 cures to date, with no deaths.

“The patients who recovered did not take any other product than Covid-Organics,” said the president.

Reminding viewers that Madagascar has a long history of traditional medicine, Rajoelina added that many pharmaceutical drugs authorized in the West have proven to be harmful, such as the weight loss drug Mediator in France.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)