Madagascar’s president on Friday launched the country’s first non-chemical herbal medicine factory that will boost the production of COVID-19 preventive drugs.

“We are proud to inaugurate PHARMALAGASY, the first national pharmaceutical factory which aims to conquer the African continent through the manufacture of non-chemical herbal medicine,” President Andry Rajoelina said in a series of tweets.

He said Madagascar is the only African country to have conducted three clinical trial protocols against coronavirus.

Earlier this year, the Indian Ocean island nation launched Covid-Organics (CVO), an organic herbal concoction, claiming that it can prevent COVID-19 and cure patients suffering from the novel coronavirus.

Rajoelina said the preventive CVO+ will also be used to treat dengue fever, bilharzia, stomach aches among others. It was designed in accordance with international protocols.

He said for now PHARMALAGASY will primarily produce CVO+.

Health care expenses represent 60% of individual income in Africa, because of a deficit in production in the continent which leads to higher prices due to logistics costs.

“PHARMALAGASY is great news for Malagasy consumers,” he said.

In July, the World Health Organization (WHO) and Africa Centre for Disease Control launched an expert committee to aid African countries in the use of traditional medicine against the novel coronavirus.

The 25-member regional expert committee will support countries in collaborative efforts to conduct clinical trials of traditional treatments in compliance with international standards.

“Interest in traditional medicine as potential remedies for COVID-19 is growing in Africa,” Matshidiso Moeti, the WHO regional director for Africa, said at the time.

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