Getafix of Madagascar Part III: The origin of the cure doesn’t matter, as long as it’s clinically tested and proven!

If it wasn’t Madagascar, and if it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don’t think so, African scientists… should not be underestimated. I think the problem is that (the drink) comes from Africa and they can’t admit… that a country like Madagascar… has come up with this formula to save the world” – President Andry Rajoelina (In an interview to French Media on the 11th of May.2020).

As I ended the last piece of this, the President of Madagascar got a bridge to sell. This is apparently his pride and joy. Maybe, the saving grace of this term in office. I don’t know, but what I do know. Is that the CVO – Tambvy or COVID-19 Herbal Tea made with stevia and artemesia annua hasn’t been clinically tested, neither proven its benefits in concern to the COVID-19 or Coronavirus.

Not that plants or algae and other medicinal plants isn’t used in modern industry. Most of them are extracted from plants, formulated and tested before unleashed on the market. To ensure the safety, the amount of extracts and compounds within the plant before creating a medicine out of it.

This not me saying it, its The National Academy of Medicine of Madagascar (ANAMEM), who in the end of April 2020 stated this: “ it is a medicine for which the scientific evidence has not yet been established”. So with that in mind combined with the knowledge of where the scientific testing of annua and stevia been tested. It is clear the President is selling a dream.

If the CVO – Tambvy was clinically, scientifically tested and proven, where all factors was checked and had results. I would have no trouble to celebrate and be happy we had a fix. We had a remedy and a saving grace in the time of need. However, when you put something to market, selling it on the ideal of Pan-Africanism and using colonial stereotypes. When your addressing the likes of me. I don’t care where a remedy, medicine or the origin of it. As long as it heals and its done properly. That is all I am asking for, that the ones who has this as a field and expertise can look into the herbal mixture and deem if it as fit. See if it generate the results and has an effect. Not only pushed out on the market on a whim.

Because, pushing this sort of thing without it. Is just snake-oil salesmen tactic. This is the sort of selling a dream, which could easily turn into nightmare. When people are drinking it and it doesn’t help. What will the President and the Producers say? That is the risk of doing this.

I wish and hope we find a cure. That there are a proved and tested vaccine, cure or remedy against COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. However, selling this now and using this rhetoric only proves how unproven it is. Instead of doing the tests, showing the results and then offering to the market. Instead, the ANAMEM are asking for evidence. That should be a sign on the sky. This is not said by Europeans, but the scientific community of Madagascar.

So, my take is, I take a remedy from wherever, made with whatever, as long as it heals and has proven results. We don’t need to take chances and risk lives, selling the placebo effect and hoping someone has the daft luck of getting saved. The President should consider this, but he got a bridge to sell. Peace.

Getafix of Madagascar Part II: A look into Rajolina’s magical tea!

There is now two weeks or so, maybe even three since the headlines and the breaking news of a miracle cure from Madagascar. Proudly presented by the President of Republic. However, as time has moved on and the Republic is now selling it abroad too. It is time to look into it.

I don’t think any product, any sort of edible or drinkable product should be sold without being verified. Especially, when they say that it has the ability to beat COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. That is why I am looking into it. I wish and hope we can find a cure, but to state that without any significant study or research is a bit hesitant and make you wonder, if the President of Madagascar is a snake-oil salesmen. If the former DJ and Mayor, Adry Rajolina is out of water.

The COVID – Organics, the CVO – Tambvy has two main components. These are Artemesia Annua and Stevia. In a 1l bottle it has 5 gram of Artemesia and 2,5 grams of Stevia rebaudiana. There been several of studies of Artemesia Annua toward Bilharzia and Malaria. Therefore, it has medicinal effects, but as tea there been some mixed messages or conclusions.

In 2006: “As the above statements make clear, further research is needed on Artemisia annua teas, to try to improve on the results obtained thus far. Important questions to address include: can the efficacy of A. annua tea be increased so that it becomes an acceptable complement to ACTs? How can we ensure that patients receive an adequate dose? Can A. annua tea be safely used without accelerating the appearance of resistant strains of Plasmodium? It is not possible to answer these questions with a single experiment on a single preparation of A. annua tea” (African Traditional Herbal Medicine Supporters Initiative, 2007).

Annua study in 2011 in Uganda concludes like this: “A. annua has great potential for use in mass prevention of malaria in resource limited settings such as Uganda. The malaria and fever prophylactic effects are possibly due to A. annua flavonoids other than artemisinin A.annua variety or product thereof rich in flavonoids but devoid of artemisinin should be developed and tried for mass prevention of malaria as a beverage or food supplement taken regularly” Ogwang et. al., 2011).

Another study from 2014: “Artemisinin, extracted from the plant Artemisia annua (A. annua) L., and artemisinin derivatives are the current best antimalarial therapeutics and are delivered as artemisinin combination therapy (ACT). Availability and cost are problematic for the developing world where malaria is endemic. Oral consumption of A. annua dried leaves is more effective than the pure drug. A tea infusion of the leaves has prophylactic effects. Cost of producing and delivering the tea and A. annua dried leaf tablets is much more affordable than ACT” (Weathers et. Al, 2014).

So, this proves the annua has effects as a tea, but that’s for malaria. However, all studies I have seen says it has to be certain factors and amounts to secure it. Therefore, it is not easy to see how this will fit another disease. Another study from 2018 that annua and another kind of Artemesia can have effect also against bilharzia. This proves, the medical usage of annua towards other diseases. However, this haven’t been done in consideration with COVID-19 or the Coronavirus. Just like hydroxychloroquine, which was said to work against it too. Now, that has been dismissed in scientific studies. This is why, the ones proclaiming the effects before saying Artemisia Annua tea is a remedy.

While Stevia has this effect: “They found the consumption of Stevia extract reduces the levels of cholesterol, triglyceride and low-density lipoproteincholesterol significantly while an increase in high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol was noted, which is desirable. They concluded that Stevia extract had a hypolipidaemic effect used to reduce the resistance of cardiovascular disease” (S.K. Goyal, 2010).

We can see there is many significant attributes to the Stevia plant. However, there is nothing in that specifically points towards the COVID-19. That is why it’s hard to say anything.

This is why its bugging for me, that the President of Madagascar has such bold claims. Yes, both plants has medical benefits. However, none is scientifically proven in combat towards COVID-19. So, selling it for it is claiming effects on something not proven. For all we know. This could have the placebo affect. Gods know why the President wants to do that trade.

By all means, I don’t care who and where the medicine for COVID-19 comes from. Neither what plant, plants or if it is sea-weed or algae. As long as it heals this disease. If Madagascar has found it. It’s awesome and congrats. However, at this very moment there is no scientific proof. That is why selling it as a cure and such is very brazen. Especially, when there is no study proving it. We need a medicine and remedy to COVID-19. That needs to be proven and studied.

Yes, the two things in the CVO – Tambvy has some favourable attributes. However, that is studied for other diseases. Not this one. Just like hydroxychloroquine, this could a be total blast in the wind. Yes, there is no deaths of COVID in Madagascar and a huge result in recovered cases. But, this is not saying anything yet. It can be coincidence and luck. We cannot state it at this mere point. Neither can the President of Madagascar. However, he got a bridge to sell. Peace.

Reference:

African Traditional Herbal Medicine Supporters Initiative – ‘Artemisia Annua as a Herbal Tea for Malaria’ – Afr J Tradit Complement Altern Med. 2007; 4(1): 121–123. (Published online 2006).

Ogwang et. al – Use of Artemisia annua L. Infusion for Malaria Prevention: Mode of Action and Benefits in a Ugandan Community’ – Patrick E. Ogwang, Jasper O. Ogwal, Simon Kasasa, Francis Ejobi, David Kabasa and Celestino Obua, 07.05.2011 – British Journal of Pharmaceutical Research

S.K. Goyal – ‘Stevia (Stevia rebaudiana) a bio-sweetener: a review’ – International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, February 2010; 61(1): 1–10

Pamela J Weathers, Melissa Towler, Ahmed Hassanali, Pierre Lutgen, and Patrick Ogwang Engeu – ‘Dried-leaf Artemisia annua: A practical malaria therapeutic for developing countries?’ – World J Pharmacol. 2014 Dec 9; 3(4): 39–55. Published online 2014 Dec 9 (2014).

Getafix of Madagascar: Rajolina’s magical tea!

There isn’t everyday someone in the highest office trying to sell you a miracle cure. However, in Madagascar, the President Rajoelina, who used to be a milkman and DJ turned Mayor. Later turned President. Andry Rajoelina is clearly trying to fix an issue, who has hit his government and worldwide.

But… selling a local trick like this will give false hopes and let people die. This is not a joke. There is no vaccine and no official cure. There is no medicine which is officially working against COVID-19 or Coronavirus. The ones claiming that is snake-oil salesmen. This is the role the former DJ and President is playing now. It is not funny, but a disrespectful thing to his citizens who represents.

Just look:

The president of Madagascar Andry Rajoelina has officially launched a local herbal remedy claimed to prevent and cure the novel coronavirus. “Tests have been carried out — two people have now been cured by this treatment,” Rajoelina told ministers, diplomats and journalists at the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (IMRA), which developed the beverage. “This herbal tea gives results in seven days,” he said” (France24 – ‘Madagascar president launches coronavirus ‘remedy’ 21.04.2020).

I’m calling the President Getafix after the character from Asterix, which gave the people drinking it superhuman strength and therefore, the trick, which could save the Gaulish village from the Roman Empire. The same way the Madagascar President using this herbal tea as a remedy against a world-wide pandemic.

In this regard, President Rajoelina is selling a dream, which can turn into a nightmare. The public might eat into it and trust him because of his office. People might take this instead of listening to health care officials or information from the World Health Organization (WHO). WHO seems maybe far away on the Island of Madagascar. However, Rajoelina isn’t Getafix.

Neither is his drink making the Malagasy people superhuman strength, but instead just another drink of herbal tea. It might have antioxidants and other goodies. It might help your immune system, but conquering COVID-19 is a stretch. It is a dream, a dream the President shouldn’t sell. Peace.

2016/082/AFR: World Bank Approves a Social Safety Net Project for Madagascar (17.09.2015)

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More than 162,500 vulnerable people are targeted 

WASHINGTON, September 17, 2015 – The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors has approved a US$40 million credit for a social safety net project in Madagascar.

“This operation will support the government in increasing the access of extremely poor households to safety net services and in laying the foundations for a social protection system,” said Andrea Vermehren, Lead Social Protection Specialist at the World Bank.

The economic and political crises in Madagascar coupled with the country’s recurrent exposure to natural disasters have had adverse effects on food security and human development. The enrollment rate for children between 6 to 10 years old dropped sharply from 80 percent to 75 percent between 2005 and 2010, and over 40 percent of Malagasy children under the age of 5 suffer from chronic malnutrition, one of the highest prevalence rates in the world. “In response to this situation, the Government’s General Policy (Politique Générale de L’Etat) has made it a priority to develop the social protection sector” reminded Onitiana Realy, the Minister of Population, Social Protection, and Promotion of Women.

This three-year project will focus on five regions selected jointly by the Malagasy Government, the National Nutrition Office and the Intervention Fund for Development (FID), based on data related to the poverty level, malnutrition rates, school attendance rates, food security, productive potential and complementary programs/interventions. Following this process, the project will be implemented in Atsinanana, Atsimo Andrefana, Haute Matsiatra, Vatovavy Fitovinany and Vakinankaratra. It will target 32,500 extremely poor households, thus reaching more than 162,500 individuals, with an overall equal participation of men and women.

The Social Safety Net Project will help establish a systematic and programmatic approach to social protection, focusing on investing in the human capital and productive assets of Madagascar’s extreme poor in addition to supporting the government’s leadership capacity.

“This project is in support of the Malagasy Government’s goal to promote inclusive growth by giving work opportunities to the poorest families and helping them in sending their children to school. The World Bank shares this goal which is at the core of its mission to eradicate extreme poverty and is proud to help the poorest gain livelihood and dignity”said Coralie Gevers, World Bank Country Manager for Madagascar.