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Ghana needs more scientific evidence before accepting Madagascar's COVID-19 cure - FDA boss

By Mutala Yakubu
Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina
Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina
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Mimi Delese Darko the Chief Executive Officer of Food and Drug Authority (FDA) says more scientific evidence is needed before Ghana can accept Madagascar's COVID-19 cure.

Ever since Madagascan President Andry Rajoelina announced a herbal medicine which they claimed has cured people of COVID-19, there have been calls from some Ghanaians that government orders some of the drugs.

Even though it is not scientifically proven and the World Health Organization has warned of its effects, many African countries have asked Madagascar to supply them with plant-based tonic, COVID-Organics.

READ ALSO: WHO cautions Madagascar over COVID-19 herbal cure

However, CEO of FDA Mimi Delese Darko in an interview on Citi TV‘s The Point of View programme said Ghana needs more evidence before accepting the product as COVID-19 cure.

“I know it contains the Artemisia plant which is the same thing that we have in some of the antimalarials… Yes, we’ve read about it but what we also look out for is evidence so you cannot just put a drug or a herbal product on the market without evidence and say it treats a disease. So far as we’ve seen, it was tested in about 20 people over 3 weeks and come out with the claim of cure. There is no published study and what we would say is that we will need more evidence,” she said.

The African Union have said they will review the medicine through the African Center for Disease Council in accordance with global technical and ethical norms.

“Once furnished with the details, the Union, through the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), will review the scientific data gathered so far on the safety and efficacy of the COVID-19 Organics. This review will be based on global technical and ethical norms to garner the necessary scientific evidence regarding the performance of the tonic,” the AU said in a statement.

Ghana's COVID-19 case count has now hit 3,091 with Bono Region becoming the latest to record a case.

The recovery figures have also shot up to 303 and the death toll remains 18.

This was contained in the latest Ghana Health Service update released on May 7, 2020.