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Madagascar- Africa Stand Off Against WHO

Madagascar- Africa Stand Off Against WHO

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By Menkiti Onyebuchi Bernie, Editor

The leaping joy across Africa that one of it’s own, trumped the West to roll out what seem to have become the only known world claim herbal cure for the dreaded fast spreading Covid-19 is understandable.

The story of Madagascar and it’s breakthrough self developed 7 days herbal wonder seems to have raised a new form of cross-gatter banter between Africa and the West.

The World Health Organization’s (WHO’s) demand for a standard laboratory test indeed angered a lot of Africans that many on the social media space view the WHO insistence for a laboratory test as the West’s usual high handedness towards Africa.

AFP News wrote; “Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina on Monday batted away criticism for promoting a homegrown “remedy” for COVID-19, charging that the West has a condescending attitude toward traditional African medicine.”

But it looks Africa is pandering to a populist blues, since subjecting an invention or innovation, be it drugs or anything else to test before use is a common sense standard. The set-up of regulatory bodies to see to the efficacy of drugs and food before consumption is done in the spirit of ensuring compliance and mitigating after effects that could arise therein.

Now it seems that by the posture of some African leaders, including President Rajoelina, that Africa is on a war path with the West; hence competing with the WHO. The line of statements made by President Rajoelina and many Africans who had weighed-in brings to the fore the long prone defeatist mindset of an average African. A core part of African mental structure which obviously has foot in colonialism.

Recently, just this week, Liberia’s Deputy Information Minister Eugene Farghon was of the view that there was no plan to test the remedy before distribution raising further question.

Whereas it beats imagination to believe that these leaders could chest thump, accusing the WHO of not approving Madagascar’s Covid-19 herbal cure, because it was produced in Africa, whereas they have rejected all overtures to see the invention tested in a lab according to global standards held by WHO.

According to a reporter, ‘this portends danger to Africa and more so to global health. The fears rests on the likely abuse considering it’s no-measure condition. Therefore it is expected to lead to many people developing resistance to the current ACT therapy known as artemether-lumefantrine and artesunate which poses a telling danger to the life of children all over Africa.’

It is also said that Madagascar’s herbal response to Covid-19 is made from a sweet wormwood referred scientifically as Artemisia annua. It is a plant found in Asia, and one that gave rise to the anti-malarial drug artemisinin, as its main ingredient.

Considering that the right should be done, Africa must not surge to complicate their own delicate situation at the altar of brewing discontent with the global WHO. They should as a people with sound mind seek to follow procedures to mitigate whatever ailment that could arose from the long term usage of an untested herbal solution.

This is not the time to begin to fan the embers of global political war, or exercise the psychological frustrations of colonial abscess, but a time to follow health guidelines, if possible nationally or even regionally in other to ensure that what is being offered as a proven cure lacks the potency to jeopardise the health of larger African peoples’.

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