Antananarivo / Brazzaville – The World Health Organization (WHO) recalls that there is not yet a specific antiviral treatment whose safety and effectiveness have been proven to treat COVID-19. Corticosteroids and medical oxygen remain essential in saving the lives of patients with severe cases of COVID-19.
WHO has developed treatment guidelines and implemented a robust methodology to not only assess new evidence collected by countries, but also to make recommendations regarding new COVID-19 treatments. If a traditional medicine product is found to be safe, effective and of guaranteed quality in randomized clinical trials, its inclusion in the WHO guidelines as a recommendation will be considered. A recommendation on the use of a specific product can lead to accelerated and large-scale local manufacturing.
The Malagasy government recently released the results of a Phase III clinical trial on the CVO + remedy (Improved Traditional Remedy), in the form of capsules made from freeze-dried extracts of Artemisia annua and other medicinal plants, which is intended for the treatment of mild conditions and moderate forms of COVID-19.
In its role as the United Nations public health agency, WHO in Madagascar provided technical support through the recruitment of a national consultant and a national staff member responsible for data management, and followed the progress of the clinical trial to help the government find additional solutions in the fight against COVID-19.
WHO Madagascar would like to congratulate the researchers, in particular the team of the National Center for the Application of Pharmaceutical Research (CNARP), for having conducted the clinical trial in compliance with national regulations and the proposed research protocol. .
Last year, in a joint effort to improve research and development of traditional medicines for COVID-19 in Africa, the WHO and the African Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) established an advisory committee regional expert to provide independent scientific advice and support. to countries on the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicine therapies.
The completion of the clinical trial in Madagascar provides data that the Expert Committee will review shortly and provide independent scientific advice on the results obtained, in accordance with clinical trial standards and procedures, and advise on next steps as indicated. to the Malagasy government during the preparation of the clinical trial.
WHO welcomes any opportunity to collaborate with countries and researchers to develop new treatments, and encourages such collaboration for the development of safe and effective therapies that can be used in Africa and elsewhere in the world.
WHO recognizes that traditional, complementary and alternative medicine has many advantages and that Africa has a long history of traditional medicine and traditional healers who play an important role in providing health care to the public.