Madagascar Records First Covid-19 Death, But Has Not Quit World Health Organisation
Madagascar has not quit the World Health Organisation, neither has it asked other African countries to follow suit.
The President of the island nation off the African continent, Andry Rajoelina is quoted to have announced the withdrawal of his country’s membership of the WHO in an interview with France 24/RFI, citing “the bad faith of Europe towards Africa.”
One of the articles citing the interview linked the WHO membership withdrawal to the controversy over Madagascar’s claim to have developed a herbal tonic, Covid-Organics which is said to cure Covid-19.
In a private emailed response to a tweet in which President Rajoelina was tagged, an official who would not want to be named described the story as “FAKE NEWS”.
The President of Madagascar in that interview with France 24 last Monday, batted away criticisms of the homegrown remedy and the WHO’s caution against people using untested remedies for coronavirus but did not say his country would quit the WHO as a result.
“If it wasn’t Madagascar, and if it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don’t think so,” he said in the France 24 interview.
Pressed for proof, the potion works, he said the tonic had healed the sick in his country adding that “no country or organisation will keep us from going forward.”
The BBC reports that a Presidential aide disclosed that the tonic was tested on fewer than 20 people over three weeks.
The WHO says though it “recognises that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine has many benefits” the medicinal plants such as Artemisia annua being considered as possible treatments for COVID-19, should be tested for efficacy and adverse side effects, adding “Africans deserve to use medicines tested to the same standards as people in the rest of the world.”
First Covid-19 death
Madagascar on Sunday announced its first coronavirus death.
Spokesperson of the country’s national Covid-19 taskforce, Professor Hanta Vololontiana said in a televised statement, that the 57-year-old medical worker who suffered from diabetes and high blood pressure died on Saturday night.
Madagascar currently has 304 cases of Covid-19 after 21 new cases were added on Sunday, the results of 103 tests conducted the previous day.
There are 114 recoveries and the country has conducted 5,673 tests.
President Rajoelina announced on Twitter on May 9, 2020, the launch of a massive screening campaign that will see 10,000 people tested. Those tests are currently underway.
He is scheduled to speak to the nation in a televised address Sunday evening.