A couple of days ago, President of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina presented a locally produced beverage called COVID-19 Organics, which he hailed as the ‘cure’ for coronavirus. He gulped a dose of the herbal brew publicly and told the world COVID-19 Organics can ‘cure’ coronavirus in seven days.
As at this morning, there are 121 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Madagascar, 39 cases of recoveries and, quite significantly, no death from coronavirus in the East African island country.
In the many reports about the development that was published in different platforms, I looked for where President Rajoelina mentioned he had instructed the relevant agencies to administer the beverage to those who have contracted the virus in his country but I didn’t see any (maybe I missed it.)
Surely, it would be a massive development for President Rajoelina to come back in a couple of weeks and inform the world that there are no longer any cases of coronavirus in Madagascar, and show evidence linking the herbal drink to the milestone.
While we wait for that day, it is important we interrogate the significance of the step taken by President Rajoelina on two counts.
First, his action supports the notion that everyone must bring something to the table, as it were. The elephants and ants live in the same world; spiders make their homes in palaces just as badgers make their homes in rocky places. Whether big or small, every nation of the world is expected to do something about this global threat instead of a situation in which some are working at feverish speed to find a cure, while it looks like others are waiting anxiously to consume what have been produced.
Secondly, and most importantly, for the rest of Africa, he says the drink is derived mainly from Artemisia, a plant that has been used to treat malaria. Artemisia is also known as sweet wormwood, sweet annie, or sweet sagewort. Africa is home, historically, to all manner of plants with remarkable healing properties.
So while the rest of the world put their great strides in science to the test, as the search for a vaccine continues, the rest of Africa, must look more closely at nature’s abundant gifts from the world’s best pharmaceutical storehouse, at her proverbial backyard, and take its precious find to the global table.