Michel Sidibé, Malian minister: “Apart from Covid-19, other pathologies are killers in Africa”

Michel Sidibé, the Malian Minister of Health and Social Affairs, shows his optimism in the development of the Covid-19 pandemic in his country, as well as on the African continent. In this interview, he also talks about the controversial use of chloroquine and Covid-Organics, produced in Madagascar. In particular, the Minister fears the economic and social consequences of the health crisis, as well as those treated by other infectious diseases found on the continent, such as malaria or HIV, “common pathologies in Africa”.

Minister of Health and Social Affairs in Mali, Michel Sidibé, is optimistic about the health situation in his country and believes that the youth of the population, its low density and preventive measures, such as masking, the borders and schools have helped to prevent the pandemic.

“We expect, the government has taken strong steps to allow us to control the explosion of this pandemic,” he said in an interview with France 24 from Bamako. Mali currently has 60 coronavirus-related deaths and 1,059 officially confirmed cases.

The Minister defends the decision not to close the country’s mosques and stresses that the measures taken by the government must be “acceptable” to the people and that the elections have therefore been left to the religious authorities.

Michel Sidibé also believes that Africa will not be the next epicenter of the epidemic after China, Europe, the United States and now Latin America, adding that the forecasts for “millions of deaths” “on the continent, especially issued by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, would not to be realized, but on the other hand, they had been used to mobilize Africa.

>> To see, our interview with Antonio Guterres “With coronavirus we risk millions of deaths in Africa”

The Malian Minister of Health, above all, fears the “economic and social tsunami”, which will follow the “health tsunami”. “We are preparing for the second tsunami, whose waves can hurt our continent more than this first wave of health,” he said.

“Do not turn a blind eye to other construction sites”

As for the treatment of the disease, Michel Sidibé ensures that, depending on WHO’s decision to suspend its clinical trials on chloroquine and its derivatives, Mali is ready to suspend the use of chloroquine and adds that Malian health authorities should consult regional organizations and neighbors in this question.

He also reveals that Mali is prepared, in the absence of treatment and vaccines, to try Covid-Organics, a cure for traditional medicine, recommended by Madagascar and which has already been distributed in several African countries.

>> To see, our interview with Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina: “The problem with Covid-Organic cure is that it comes from Africa”

Finally, Michel Sidibé, who is also the former head of UNAIDS, raises an outcry about the risks that the pandemic brings in the fight against infectious diseases on the continent such as HIV and malaria and says that the interruption in the supply of treatments and vaccines, following the measures taken against the coronavirus, can thus have far more fatal consequences in Africa than the current pandemic. “We must not close our eyes to other projects,” he says. “Other pathologies exist in Africa and they are killer.”