Dar es Salaam – Tanzania will not administer on any patient the anti-coronavirus ‘cure’ that arrived yesterday from Madagascar until a clinical trial has been carried out by the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR).
Baptised Covid-Organics, the drink has been touted by Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina as a powerful remedy against the COVID-19.
Speaking at a news conference earlier today, Tanzania’s foreign affairs minister Prof Palamagamba Kabudi who led the team to Antananarivo said the task at hand is to research and analyse the medicine before putting it to use.
“I want to make it clear among Tanzanians that we haven’t come with medicine to distribute among the citizens, rather we have brought a consignment for research and analysis,” said Prof Kabudi.
Prof Kabudi’s update follows Matshidiso Moeti’s words of caution and advise to countries against adopting a product that has not been through clinical tests for safety and efficacy. Moeti, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) was concerned about the impact that COVID-19 will have on the ability of African countries to progress towards Universal health coverage.
“We are advising the government of Madagascar to take this product through a clinical trial and we are prepared to collaborate with them,” Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, told a joint media briefing with the WHO and World Economic Forum on Thursday.
In line with the WHO’s advice, Tanzania’s Prof Kabudi, reiterated that the medicine has come for preliminary research and analysis that will be done by a team of Tanzanian experts -assisted by other scientists on President John Pombe Magufuli’s instructions.
“They didn’t provide us the medicine that is ready for use. Nobody in the delegation tested the medicine, it was only me with my Madagascar counterpart just as the demonstration of our respect for the donation,” he said.
He revealed that the eight -red colored boxes consist of medicine produced for prevention purposes while the other four green colored boxes consist are medicine for use by those confirmed to have contracted the disease.