PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari has approved that the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 takes delivery of Madagascar’s Coronavirus herbal remedy.
Chairman of the Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 and Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SFG), Boss Mustapha disclosed this yesterday at the body’s daily national briefing in Abuja.
Responding to a question on if Nigeria had ordered for the syrup, the SGF stated that the herbal products were donated by Madagascar and sent to Nigeria., adding that the products would be subjected to the validation process after they have been picked up.
“It’s been sent to Gunea 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.”. He further said that PTF had been instructed by President Buhari to freight it home. With a clear instruction to subject it to the validation process similar to what will happen to any syrup or vaccine that is discovered or created internally. So it will be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals.
“Mr President has given instructions for the airlifting of Nigeria’s allocation of the Madagascar COVID-19 syrup and clear instructions that it must be subjected to the standard validation process for pharmaceuticals; there will be no exceptions for this. The SGF reinterated that Nigeria has only one national response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Further report says that President Buhari has challenged Nigerian researchers to look inwards in utilising local content in search for COVID-19 cure; adding that the Madagascar’s herb grows perfectly well in Nigeria.
The federal government has directed the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) to carry out an assessment on the possibility of using herbal mixture to cure coronavirus.
The Ministry of Health, through a memo with REF no. TCAM/077/I/65 directed to the Director-General of NAFDAC, Mojisola Adeyeye, by its permanent secretary, Mashi Abdullahi, affirmed the directive.
In his remarks at the briefing, the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire said the extract of the plant used for the herbal drug grows in the country.
According to him, 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.
“The move becomes necessary as countries like Madagascar have resorted to local alternatives for the treatment of patients infected with the virus.We are going to get sample of herb of the botanical product for analyses and also probably use that opportunity to speak with the health authorities there particularly the scientific 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 will 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,” Ehanire said.
It will be recalled that National Light earlier reported FG’s mum on the speculated movement of the Madagascar’s organic COVID-19 remedial medicine to Nigeria through Guinea Bissau.