Many doctors and medical experts agree that fighting the spread of unconfirmed rumors and misinformation has been as tough, if not tougher, than treating the actual virus.
If some weird Facebook friends were not enough, the President of Madagascar is now pushing for herbal tonics as a treatment for Covid-19.
President Andry Rajoelina of Madagascar has been personally leading efforts to advertise their traditional tonic as a cure for the novel coronavirus. CNN reports that this is against the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO) and other experts.
Not surprisingly, President Rajoelina has not offered detailed explanations on how the tonic would work. Experts warn that not only has this tonic never been tested for medical purposes, but it may also cause drug resistance to malaria pills.
Like all other fake news, it is all harmless fun until it starts to pose real threats. With the case of these herbal tonics, the real threat is that its ingredients may render malaria pills useless for those who consume the tonics.
This is because these tonics, known as Covid-Organics (CVO), use the same herbs that are used to produce antimalarial chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine.
If the name of the pills sound familiar, readers from the US may remember how President Donald Trump suggested hydroxychloroquine may be effective against Covid-19. That argument has not been confirmed scientifically.
The WHO has warned against the tonics as the effects on humans have not been tested. While the organization did admit that researchers are looking into the efficacy of the ingredient herbs as a possible cure for Covid-19, they emphasized that no final product has been approved.
However, President Rajoelina has criticized the WHO and claimed that more than 100 patients have been cured after they took CVO. He did not give specific details that would corroborate this claim.
Perceiving this as a chance to advertise his country, Rajoelina has aggressively promoted this tonic to his fellow African leaders. CNN reports that Madagascar has gone so far as to ship CVOs for free, and multiple nations in Sub-Saharan Africa have already received these shipments.
As much as we want to believe that it is true, everyone should be a bit more cautious as malaria claims the lives of more than 400,000 annually. Share your thoughts on this story with us, and be sure to follow us on Facebook for more news.
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