For the first time since he announced the discovery of Covid-Organics, a cure for Covid-19, the president of Madagascar gives an interview. With Christophe Boisbouvier and Marc Perelman at the microphone, he responds to criticism from the WHO and announces clinical trials. He also expresses himself on the quarrel with France about the Scattered Islands.
Christophe Boisbouvier: Mr. President, good morning.
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina: Good morning, it is a pleasure to be your guest, especially in this period of war against the coronavirus.
Marc Perelman: We are going to talk about what you call this “war” against Covid-19. In addition to the lockdown, the wearing of masks, the social distancing, Madagascar is distinguished by the use of Covid-Organics, a remedy based on artemisia, a plant with a recognized therapeutic effect against malaria. You have already sent it to several African countries, but do you have any evidence that it works back home, that it cures people of Covid-19?
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina: Actually, yes, we have launched this remedy based on Malagasy medicinal plants. It should be noted that in Madagascar, we are used to it and 80% of the population is cured through the medicinal remedy. Having said that, Covid-Organics is obviously a preventive and curative remedy against Covid-19 which works very well. And besides, it is the result of research carried out by the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research [IMRA], which has the status of a regional research centre recognised by the African Union. I would just like to point out that IMRA is a medical and pharmaceutical research and training centre, founded in 1957 by Professor Rakoto Ratsimamanga, who is a leading figure in African science.
You speak of “evidence” and I spoke of “war” earlier. The world situation today shows that there are almost 300,000 dead. Does that allow us to ignore an alternative treatment ? And when we are also in a time of war, what proof can we demonstrate and provide at this time? It is, of course, the healing of our sick, because it should be noted that today, in Madagascar, we have had 171 cases, 105 of which have been cured. And the majority of these coronavirus patients have been cured, and you are talking about evidence. As evidence, I want to tell you that the patients who were cured took only this Covid-Organics [also called Tambavy CVO] product. In summary, a marked improvement in the health of the patients who received this Tambavy CVO remedy was observed within 24 hours after the first intake of Tambavy CVO. Healing was observed after seven or even ten days after taking Tambavy CVO. This remedy is natural, non-toxic and non-invasive.
Christophe Boisbouvier: Only, not everyone is convinced by the evidence you are talking about. And it’s not just anyone. The African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), and above all the World Health Organization (WHO), the WHO’s Africa office, have multiplied warnings in recent days against the illusion of a miracle cure. Not only does the WHO doubt the effectiveness of Covid-Organics, but it fears side effects for the people who consume this herbal tea?
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina: Of course, you’re quoting Dr. [Matshidiso] Moeti’s warning against the use of Covid-Organics. I would just like to ask the question: had the Mediator [the anti-diabetic drug responsible for the death of patients in France] received and obtained the authorizations? And my question today is: how many people have died from the Mediator drug? You know as well as everyone else the statement by Professor Bernard Debré and Philippe Even. They presented almost 58 drugs manufactured by prestigious laboratories that not only do not cure, but in their own words, are “dangerous” and “deadly”.
These drugs have been and are being distributed in Africa and I have never heard Dr. Moeti or the WHO make a statement that does not authorize the taking of these drugs. Now, as I said earlier, we use decoction. When we talk about decoction, it’s a method, it’s the action of boiling medicinal plants in water to extract the active substances. It is our traditional medicine which is known and recognized for its effects. There is much talk in this remedy of artemisia. What is at stake today, you asked me the question, but I still have a question to ask you: if it was not Madagascar, but a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so many doubts? I do not think so. What I can tell you today is that in the case of the patients in Madagascar and also of those who have taken these medicines, in fact today this Tambavy CVO or this decoction, we have had proof that we have treated our patients so far.
Marc Perelman: Precisely, we will take the example of France. The National Agency for the Safety of Medicines has very recently published a warning regarding the purchase of artemisia-based products, stating that the therapeutic virtues are “false and dangerous”. Do you have the impression that these doubts, or even suspicions, let’s say, of charlatanism, come from the West, or perhaps even from Western pharmaceutical lobbies?
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina: You may have seen and watched Professor Montagnier, having made a statement, he has nevertheless received the Nobel Prize for Science and Medicine, that artemisia is one track to cure the coronavirus. That is one thing. But you may also be aware of the study by Professor Tu Youyou in China, who was able to extract artemisinin from artemisia. So, today, I don’t understand why so many questions, why so many problems. But the problem today with Covid-Organics is not its formula. It’s not clinical studies that we pretend not to know about. People are saying bad things about this product, about Tambavy CVO, while it is doing only good and saving lives right now. In this battle, they want to slow us down. They want to discourage us or even forbid us to move forward.
Marc Perelman: Who is “they”?
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina: But nothing prevents us from advancing, neither a country nor an organization. “they, you mentioned a few organizations earlier, such as the World Health Organization. “We” is us ; Madagascar, with our decoction , is in the process of making, and nobody can stop us. We are a sovereign country and we are here to help our people, our population, so that we do not become true victims or die from this pandemic.
Christophe Boisbouvier: Quite simply, what everyone is asking you for is clinical trials. You mentioned the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research (Imra), but for the moment, this institute has only made clinical observations, not clinical trials. So when are you going to do them and who is going to do them?
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina: So, one must not confuse clinical trials with clinical observations. At the moment, when we talk about Tambavy CVO, we have the status of an improved traditional medicine. When we talk about improved medicine status, the validation system is different from that of a drug. We do not conduct clinical trials, but rather clinical observation, according to the guide developed by the WHO. And that is what we have done. We have conducted a clinical observation. A study protocol to be observed and we looked at and made a clinical observation on the effect and the state of health of patients with the coronavirus. So today, we have complied with universally recognized ethical standards for clinical studies and research.
Christophe Boisbouvier: But last Thursday, you announced that clinical trials would soon be conducted. They won’t take place after all?
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina : There are two things. There’s no confusion. There are several protocols that we have put in place. First of all, like every country in the world, we are facing this pandemic. We are obliged to find a solution to cure the sick. And when Professor [Didier] Raoult announced the effectiveness of chloroquine and azithromycin, we used them, and I would like to thank him here because without his proposed solution, we would not have been able to save the first victims of the coronavirus.
Afterwards, we all know that high doses of chloroquine have side effects and undesirable side effects. This treatment has presented risks of toxicity and requires greater clinical surveillance. The second protocol we adopted was Tambavy CVO, or the decoction that I announced to you earlier, following the principles of clinical studies and observations according to WHO recommendations. The vast majority of the new patients who took this decoction were observed, and obviously the result is there. There are currently no deaths in Madagascar. We have only healed our patients. But you spoke earlier about clinical trials. Obviously, we have a third protocol and a clinical trial on a drug in injection form, different from the remedy we are currently proposing. This is part of a regional cooperation and in collaboration with doctors and scientists in the United States, and of course in the Indian Ocean.
Marc Perelman: The Malagasy Institute of Applied Research refuses to reveal the exact composition of Covid-Organics because we imagine that this Institute does not want to be overtaken by a competitor before filing a patent. But many Malagasy people in the interior of the country do not have access to this remedy. So, so that they can make it themselves and thus protect themselves, can you tell us what are, in addition to artemisia, the two other plants that make up Covid-Organics?
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina: Of course, Covid-Organics is essentially based on medicinal plants. Mostly with artemisia up to 62%, but also with endemic Malagasy medicinal plants. It cannot yet be unveiled today. This is the result that we are expecting today and, moreover, we are really going to launch clinical surveillance at the regional level at the moment. If you want, we have our formula. And as I told you earlier, we are working with the Malagasy Institute of Applied Research. I would like to show you the Madecassol product, which is produced today by Bayer, which makes about 100 drugs. And this is the result of research by IMRA. And it is a drug that was concocted in 1961. This is to tell you that we should not underestimate African and Malagasy scientists. We are here, and it is true that today there are questions that arise: why, what is the problem with Covid-Organics? I think the problem is that it comes from Africa. And we can’t admit, accept that a country like Madagascar, which is the 63rd poorest country in the world, has in fact set up this formula, this Tambavy CVO to save the world. But this is a war, but it is not military force or economic power that is currently at play. But God and the Lord has given us the medicinal plants to help other countries and the whole world to fight this disease.
Christophe Boisbouvier: You are asking France for the restitution of the “Iles Eparses” (Scattered Islands), those four islands off your coasts. A joint commission was set up a year ago. But in October 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron went to one of these four islands and said: “This is France”. Can a solution be found between your two countries between now and 26 June, the 60th anniversary of your independence?
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina: Our wish was indeed to find a solution for the return of these islands to Madagascar. The second meeting of the joint commission was scheduled for the end of March. But it was postponed because of the coronavirus. But I have faith and confidence in our ability to find a quick solution that will satisfy our request for restitution.
Christophe Boisbouvier: Rather restitution or rather a co-management agreement with France?
S.E.M. Andry Rajoelina: We have claimed sovereignty over these islands. And we are talking about restitution.