The World Health Organization (WHO) has urged Madagascar to scientifically test an herbal remedy, which President Andry Rajoelina says can cure the coronavirus.
The WHO director for Africa, Matshidiso Moeti, made the call on Thursday.
"We offer support for the design of a study to analyze this product," said Moeti.
Moeti said authorities in the global body met with the president and the minister of health to discuss under what conditions this study could take place to determine the product's effectiveness.
“We are not discouraging the product, but we would like it to be tested. So, when we are (making it widely available), it is based on some evidence ", said the director.
The herbal remedy, called "COVID Organics" and prepared by the Malagasy Institute for Applied Research, is made from sagebrush, a plant grown on the island of the Indian Ocean.
Despite the lack of scientific evidence, Rajoelina disclosed that the drug has already cured some Madagascars in COVID-19.
Children returning to school were forced to take her.
"This plant strengthens immunity and protects against numerous viruses and fever and especially lung diseases," said Rajoelina.
Meanwhile, the institute's general director, Charles Andrianjara, said only that the remedy is preventive.
The drug is being distributed free of charge to vulnerable people and sold commercially.
In early May, Tanzanian President John Magufuli announced that he had placed an order for "COVID Organics". (dpa / NAN)