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Madagascar sacks health minister amidst COVID-19 pandemic

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WHILE the world still battles the COVID-19 pandemic, Madagascar, an island country in the Indian Ocean has sacked  Ahmad Ahmad, its health minister.

Madagascar has recorded over 14,000 cases of COVID-19, with not less than 173 deaths.

Ahmad removal was announced when a new list was released by Valery Ramonjavelo, the cabinet secretary.

“Jean Louis Hanitrala Rakotovao has been named new health minister,” Ramonjavelo told a press conference, without revealing details about the change.

Back in May, Andry Rajoelina, President of Madagascar, had announced the launch of a herbal remedy for the treatment of COVID-19 disease, produced by the country’s Institute of Applied Research in partnership with a Congolese Doctor, Dr. Jerome Munyagi.

The mixture called the Tambavy Covid-Organics and made from artemisia annua – a plant with proven efficacy in treating malaria – as well as other indigenous herbs.

However, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised against the use of medicinal plants such as Artemisia annua to cure COVID-19.

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In July, public hospitals in Madagascar reached maximum capacity and as the country experienced overwhelming surge in the cases of COVID-19 infection.

This prompted the ousted health minister to Ahmad to seek assistance for medical equipments.

His concerns were un-welcomed by the president’s administration, leading to his removal.

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Seun Durojaiye is a journalist with International Center for Investigative Reporting (ICIR).

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