EXCLUSIVE: Controversy rages in Nigeria over imported Madagascar herbal cure’s whereabouts


  • NAFDAC denies knowledge of drug’s location 10 days after Buhari promised clinical trial

Fateemah OLONADE

Controversy raged in Nigeria on Tuesday over the whereabout of Madagascar’s COVID organic drug imported into the country 10 days ago.

Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari who received the drug at his Aso Rock office May 16, promised to ensure the drug is subjected to clinical trial before use.

He received samples of the herbal concoction that Madagascar claims can cure people infected with the new coronavirus, his office said, from President Umaro Sissoco Embalo of Guinea Bissau who visited him in Abuja, stating the native remedy would be scientifically tested before use.

“We have our institutions, systems and processes in the country. Any such formulations should be sent to them for verification,” he said.

“I will not put it to use without the endorsement of our institutions,” he added.

Buhari’s statement was corroborated by the ministry of health, which also two weeks ago, stated that the drug would be moved to the country’s National Agency for Foods and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for the trial.

The Director General of NAFDAC, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye, however, on Tuesday, denied knowledge of the whereabouts of the drug two weeks after the drug has been promised to be sent to her agency for trial.

“As I speak, the drug (COVID organic, is not yet in NAFDAC for clinical trial,” she declared on a Television Continental programme; “Your View,” monitored by Platforms Africa in Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital.

She however added that her agency would not stop the ongoing clinical trial of Hydroxylchloroquine despite a stand against furthet trial of the drug by the World Health organisation (WHO).

“We have heard of the report by WHO on hydroxylchloroquine. But we do not have the full teport to know the data on the sample size they used. Are the patients who made up the sample size from the Cacartian population or from Blacks population?” She asked.

“The clinical trial of hydroxychloroquine is on going in our laboratory and we are going ahead with this trial,” she concluded.

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