By Omeiza Ajayi
Nigeria has ordered for Madagascar’s COVID-19 vaccine. Madagascar has been using the herbal cure called “COVID-19 Organic”
The Federal Government, however, said the product would be subjected to scientific analysis to ascertain its genuineness and perhaps begin local production.
Nigeria’s order for Madagascar’s COVID-19 vaccine came on a day the National Human Rights Commission, NHRC, announced that it received a total of 104 complaints on rights violations from 27 states across the country.
Speaking at Monday’s briefing of the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19, its Director-General, Boss Mustapha, said the product, which is currently in Guinea-Bissau, would soon be freighted to Nigeria and subjected to all necessary validations before usage.
Mustapha, who is also the Secretary to Government of the Federation, said: “With respect to the Madagascar syrup, it has been freighted to Guinea-Bissau by the President of Madagascar.
“Certain allocations have been made to different countries. We have an indication of the quantity that has been allocated to Nigeria and we are supposed to make arrangements to freight it out of Guinea-Bissau to Nigeria.
“I have received instructions from Mr. President to make arrangements to freight it home with a clear instruction that I should subject it to the validation process similar to what would happen to any other medicine or syrup or vaccine that is discovered or created internally
“So, it will be subjected to the same process before it is put into any form of use. There will be no exception. ”
Speaking on Nigeria’s order for Madagascar’s COVID-19 vaccine, the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, said Nigeria would analyse the syrup to see if it can be reproduced here.
He said: “We have a promise of being able to get samples of the herb or botanical product for analysis and also probably use that opportunity to speak with the health authorities there, particularly the scientific community on how they use it.
“But obviously, to also give back to the research community here with us to examine and see what they can do with it. We understand that it is something called ‘Artemisia Annua’ which also grows her.
“But we will like to, if we get that sample, compare it with the strain here whether they are exactly identical or whether they are two different strains and see what properties it has and subjected to further analysis to find out what works there, how it works and the use in getting a cure.
“Obviously, all countries in the world are interested in finding a cure and we are not different. So, we are looking at all possibilities, all options, all promises that are made, we examine them, and before we give them to our people, we make sure that they are actually safe and that they work.”