The African Union (AU) says it is in talks with Madagascar on a herbal remedy recently announced by the Indian Ocean island nation for the reported prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
The Africa Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC), in a statement on Tuesday, said that the talks, focusing on technical data regarding its safety and efficiency, was held through Madagascar Embassy in Addis Ababa.
It said that the AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Amira ElFadil, convened a meeting with the Madagascar Chargé d’Affaires in Ethiopia, Mr Eric Randrianantoandro, on April 30.
The statement said it was agreed that Madagascar would furnish the AU with necessary details regarding the herbal remedy.
“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,” it said.
It said that the developments followed the participation of Madagascar’s President, Andry Rajoelina, in a teleconference Meeting of the Bureau of the Assembly of AU Heads of State and Government with the Chairpersons of the AU Regional Economic Communities (RECs) on April 29.
The statement said that Rajoelina participated as Chairperson of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA), and made a presentation to his peers regarding the herbal remedy.
According to the statement, the teleconference was convened by President Cyril Ramaphosa of South Africa, and Chairperson of the AU.
It said that the meeting was held with the aim of apprising the Chairpersons of the RECs about the actions and initiatives undertaken by the AU in response to the spread of the coronavirus pandemic on the continent.
The statement said that the meeting also provided a platform for the Chairpersons of the RECs to brief the Bureau about regional measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Africa CDC is a specialised technical institution of the AU which supports Member States in their efforts to strengthen health systems and improve surveillance, emergency response, prevention and control of diseases.