The ECOWAS Commission has dismissed reports that its health institution, West Africa Health Organisation had ordered medicine developed by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research, Madagascar, for COVID-19 treatment.
The regional body said it was aware that several claims of COVID-19 cures had been made in different parts of the world but added that it could endorse products that have been shown to be effective through scientific study.
Madagascar had touted organics as a cure for the coronavirus disease with President Andry Rajolina celebrating the herbal medicine which contains artemisa at an African Union gathering.
But the ECOWAS Commission in a statement in Abuja on Thursday said WAHO is collaborating with relevant partners including the World Health Organisation, Africa Centres for Disease Control as well as national, regional, and international research consortia to promote the scientific search for a cure.
ECOWAS said WAHO remained committed to promoting rational traditional medicine practices and products in the region.
It said the institution has over the years worked consistently with the Member States to scientifically investigate plant medicines of proven efficacy.
The commission added that such products were documented in ECOWAS Pharmacopoeia of Traditional Medicines, the second edition of which would be published in the next few weeks.
The statement read in part, “We wish to dissociate ECOWAS and its health institution, West Africa Health Organization from this claim and to inform the general public that we have not ordered the said CVO medication.
“We are working with member states on some of the medications available for clinical trials and for use on a compassionate basis in selected severe cases.
“Some of the traditional medicine centres of excellence in the ECOWAS region are also currently investigating products of potential efficacy.”