ECOWAS, the Economic Community of West African States, has dissociated itself from reports of a donation from Madagascar regarding a coronavirus herbal cure, COVID-Organics.
In a May 6 press release, the ECOWAS Commission said it dissociates itself from claims that it had “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 inform the general public that we have not ordered the said CVO medicine,” the statement read in part.
The controversial Malagasy virus cure is already in West Africa after Guinea-Bissau took delivery of a donation days ago. The Malagasy president Andry Rajoelina told national broadcaster that a donation had been made to 15-member ECOWAS bloc.
At the handing over ceremony to Guinea-Bissau officials, the packaging of the drugs had flags of all African countries in the bloc. Bissau had agreed to deploy to neighbouring countries, Rajoelina added.
The current statement is a direct response to Rajoelina’s claims. It stressed that ECOWAS was not against traditional or herbal contributions to health challenges but that it was only ready to support and endorse products that had been scientifically tested and proven.
It added that WAHO remained in contact with WHO, Africa CDC and other international stakeholders in seeking a scientific search for COVID-19 cure. The WHO has warned against untested cures whiles the Africa CDC said it was in talks with Antananarivo.
It is not known as yet if Guinea-Bissau has started deployment and whether other African countries will accept the packages. The last ECOWAS heads of state meeting did not discuss anything around the issue.