JPM’s plan to import Madagascan COVID herbal drug backed

05May 2020
The Guardian Reporter
Dar es Salaam
The Guardian
JPM’s plan to import Madagascan COVID herbal drug backed

SOME members of the public have rallied behind President John Magufuli’s plans to import a herbal tea called COVID Organics so that the country’s coronavirus patients can get the drug and possibly heal.

In a random interview in Dar es Salaam this week, a good number of ordinary people said because the world is yet to come up with a cure let alone a vaccine for the deadly virus which has already claimed thousands of lives, the herbal tea will help ease the suffering of Covid-19 patients in the country.

“I strongly support the head of state’s position on the herbal cocktail because going by its efficacy as per Madagascan authorities statistics, it seems to be working, after all Artemisia is a plant that is used to make anti-malaria drugs,” said Dr Chiku Mwampembe who runs a private hospital at Tegeta .

Dr Mwampembe however challenged local scientists to continue researching to come up with a possible cure or vaccine for the killer disease as the world struggles to contain the virus. “I went to school in China where reports say they widely used herbal drugs to get rid of the coronavirus,” she noted saying most manufactured drugs also contain a significant composition of herbs.

She further suggested that institutions such as National Institute for Medical Research and Muhimbili University College of Health Sciences should be in the fore front of doing research to find vaccines and cures for deadly viruses such as Ebola and COVID-19.

“I know that at Muhimbili there is a dedicated department for tradition healing medicines, they can also help us examine the Madagascan wonder herbal tea,” Dr Mwampembe argued saying that a decade ago Babu wa Lliondo’s herbal concoction attracted global attention for treating several ailments although scientists have always discredited it.

Seconding Dr Mwampembe’s arguments, a food vendor at Mwenge, Georgina Swebe said what the public is interested in is a solution. “I strongly back my president for taking this initiative because we are tired of gloomy news, death and anxiety, I urge him to dispatch our planes and bring the herbal tea as soon as possible,” she said.

Swebe argued that while politicians and scientists are arguing about isolation, quarantine and evidence that Covid Organics is a cure, those in bed are desperately looking for anything to relieve them.

“By our nature, we Tanzanians like to debate, sometimes over issues that we don’t even know, let President Magufuli ignore those opposed to his plans and instead go ahead and import the drug,” she charged while pointing out that lack of a globally acceptable drug has pushed people to go for alternative medicines.

A retired veterinary assistant based at Goba, Mohamed Omari Safari also backed President Magufuli’s decision to import Covid Organics saying the elderly are being terrorised by the virus which seems to prey on them.

“We are living in fear and frustration confined not only to our home compounds but ideally our living rooms because of fear of catching the deadly virus,” Mzee Safari said noting that as the cold season arrives, people are concerned even after catching a cold or normal flu.

While swearing in new Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs in Chato this week, President Magufuli said he will dispatch a government plane to collect the herbal tea from Madagascar saying he has already talked to his counterpart, Andry Rajoelina about importing the drug.

Madagascar has recorded 128 coronavirus cases of which 92 have recovered, leaving 36 active cases but with o single death. President Rajoelina launched the herbal tea, named COVID-Organics in April this year.