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South Africa to help Madagascar vet herbal Covid-19 treatment

Country vows to do the same for any claimed coronavirus solutions produced in Africa

South Africa will help Madagascar test its purported Covid-19 treatment and has “already been in touch” through its own science councils, science minister Blade Nzimande told a 23 May news conference.

The untested traditional treatment—a drink composed primarily of a decoction of Artemisia annua and touted by Malagasy president Andry Rajoelina as a Covid-19 treatment—has gained wide traction in Africa despite caution from scientists, the World Health Organization and policymakers.

Nzimande said the South African authorities had advised the Madagascar government to “seek independent evaluation” of the product. “As a department we are willing to partner Madagascar within the context of the WHO guidelines for the evaluation of traditional medicines,” he said.

South Africa will do the same for any other African nation that comes up with “solutions for Covid-19” whether from traditional medicine or novel research.