The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has denied reports that it endorsed Madagascar tonic, also called Covid Organics (CVO) for the treatment of the coronavirus pandemic.
ECOWAS said in a statement on Thursday that it was aware of several claims a Covid-19 cure in different parts of the world.
However, the sub-regional organisation said it could only support and endorse products that have been shown to be effective through scientific study.
Consequently, it said it health institution, West Africa Health Organization (WAHO), was collaborating with relevant partners including the World Health Organisation (WHO), Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (ACDCP), national, regional and international research consortia to promote the scientific search for a cure.
It also revealed stated that it was working with member states on some of the medications available for clinical trials and for use on a compassionate basis in selected severe cases.
“Our attention has been drawn to a story making the headlines that claims ECOWAS has ordered a package of Covid Organics (CVO) medicine from a third country.
“We wish to dissociate ECOWAS and its health institution, West Africa Health Organization (WAHO), from this claim and to inform the general public that we have not ordered the said CVO medication.
“As part of its mandate to safeguard and improve the health of the region’s population, WAHO remains committed to promoting rational traditional medicine practices and products in the ECOWAS region, and over the years has worked consistently with the member states to scientifically investigate plant medicines of proven efficacy,” said ECOWAS.
ECOWAS stressed that it would continue to focus on delivering on the decisions made by its Heads of State and Government at their recent Extraordinary Summit on the fight against Covid-19, one of which is to strengthen cooperation among member states in research, training and experience sharing in health matters in general, and in the fight against Covid-19 in particular.
It would be recalled that the president of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina had in April officially launched the CVO, a herbal mixture developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, claiming that it could prevent and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus.