South Africans that SABC News spoke to, believe Madagascar’s claim that they discovered a cure for COVID-19 should not be belittled and that African remedies should be given a chance.

The World Health Organisation has repeatedly warned that the herbal drink promoted by Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina as a “preventive and curative remedy” for the virus, has not been clinically tested.

Over the past weekend, the country reported its first death linked to COVID-19.

At a recent African Union video meeting, chaired by President Cyril Ramaphosa, Madagascar’s claims were greeted by polite silence.

The touted Madagascan herbal drink is derived from the plant, also known as artemisia or African wormwood. It is known as Mhlonyana or Lengana in South Africa.

Mixed with other indigenous herbs, the plant has proven efficacy in malaria treatment.

Full story by Thabiso Sithole and Thabo Madilola below:

Madagascar called on to make herbal tonic available 

Earlier this month, Chairperson of the Government Advisory Committee, Professor Salim Abdool Karim said there is too little information to determine whether Madagascar has indeed discovered a cure for COVID-19.

Some governments have signed onto the idea, despite warnings from the World Health Organisation that the tonic has not been subjected to any scientific testing. Professor Karim invited Madagascar to make the treatment available to scientists for proper investigation.

Karim says, “We can’t simply say this definitely works because the president says so. We can’t say this definitely works because this family says so or this person says so. We have to have the evidence and I think what is important is to keep an open mind because medications and treatments can often come from a place that you would least expect.”

In the video below, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention says it is looking at Madagascar’s organic remedy: