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As nations scramble for a vaccine for Covid-19, the World Health Organisation has thrown its weight behind the trial testing of African traditional medicines for possible treatment of the coronavirus.

The trials will assess and determine the safety and quality of the products as well as their efficacy.

The WHO coordinator for Essential Medicines, Health Technology and Innovation in Africa, Dr Ossy Kasilo, spoke to eNCA.

“It only means that the countries which have agreed to participate in these multi-country studies will join the investigators to conduct the clinical trials,” said Dr Kasilo.

Traditional leaders will be essential in communicating the details of the trials and studies to their communities.

“The World Health Organisation and Africa CDC, at regional level and continental level, will be responsible for the overall oversight of the studies,” explained Dr Kasilo.

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This comes months after Madagascar began exporting a drink derived from the artemisia plant, claiming it has Covid-19 treatment properties.

According to a News24 report, Madagascar delivered shipments of Baptised Covid-Organics, an artemisia infused herbal tea, to Guinea-Bissau and Equatorial Guinea as far back as May.

Artemisia afra (known as African wormwood or umhlonyane) has been proven to be effective in the treatment of malaria but it’s efficacy as a Covid-19 treatment has not yet been determined conclusively.

Despite this, Madagascar embarked on door-to-door delivery campaigns of the artemisia drink in the country and hailed the drink as an effective treatment.

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