WHO Africa not against traditional medicine as it tests Madagascar tonic

Officials said they were working with Madagascar’s government to ascertain the efficacy of a plant-based tonic developed in the country.

FILE: Covid-Organics or CVO is a 'so-called remedy' produced by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA) created from the Artemisia plant and supposedly help to prevent any infection caused by the new coronavirus COVID-19. Picture: AFP.

CAPE TOWN – The World Health Organisation (WHO) Africa on Thursday said that it was not against the use of traditional medicine but warned that herbal remedies also needed to be thoroughly tested.

Officials said they were working with Madagascar’s government to ascertain the efficacy of a plant-based tonic developed in the country.

President Andry Rajoelina launched the product at a news conference last month.

In Africa, 2,400 people have died of COVID-19 and over 72,000 cases have been recorded on the continent.

WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Matshidiso Moeti, said that they were not discouraging the use of herbal products.

"What we are encouraging is very much along these lines and in line with these principles that any medicine that is being used, including this product from Madagascar, we advise it must be taken through some assessments. How effective is it? Under what sorts of conditions could it be used? What are some of the side-effects that might be undesirable? What could be the dosage that needs to be adjusted?"

WATCH: AU to test Madagascar's so-called coronavirus remedy