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13 May 2020

COVID 19: Ignore WHO, go for local cures, Reps tell FG

The House of Representatives yesterday called on the Federal Government to ignore the World Health Organization, WHO, in efforts to find cure for COVID-19 and approve use of alternative remedies to cure the disease.

It also called on governors of the 19 states of the North to reverse the ban on the Almajiri System until millions of Islamic school children loitering the streets of the region without care are provided for by the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC.

The Green Chamber also urged the Federal Government to intervene and immediately halt repatriation of Almajirai children to their states of origin.

The House, in a motion by Ossy Prestige (PDP, Abia), rejected warnings by the World Health Organization on the use of local cures for the disease. Sponsor of the motion noted that since the outbreak of Coronavirus disease, otherwise known as COVID-19, it has infected more than four million people around the world, with a global death toll of about 300,000, adding that Nigeria has over 4,641 confirmed cases and over 150 deaths, with the virus spreading to virtually all states of federation at an alarming rate.

The House plenary, preside over by the speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, immediately adopted the motion, urging government to support and encourage the use of locally developed remedies for the management and treatment of COVID-19 ailments in Nigeria in order to ascertain their efficacy.

It also mandated the Committee on Health “to interface with the relevant government agencies to ensure that our locally-deveIoped remedies for the treatment of COVID-19 are included in the clinical trials by the WHO under its “Solidarity initiative.”

Presenting his motion, the Abia lawmaker said: “The World Health Organization, WHO, has not found any effective cure or vaccine for this virus ravaging the world but has launched an international clinical trial known as “Solidarity” to help find an effective cure for this disease. “WHO has cautioned against the use of any drug or treatment that has not undergone clinical trials or administering these unproven treatments to patients with COVID-19.

Some countries jettisoned this caution by WHO and have gone ahead to develop indigenous treatments to combat the ravaging effects of this virus on their citizens.” “The Israeli Institute for Biological Research has successfully developed a series of antibodies to combat the coronavirus.

The Israeli President is considering building a vaccine production plant for the production of vaccines to treat COVID-19 patients. “Madagascar, a small African country took their destinies in their hands and to the consternation of WHO and the Centre for Disease Control, developed a herbal drink for the treatment of COVID-19 patients from a medicinal plant, Artemisia annua, which their herbal research institutes have been studying for over 30 years.

Madagascar so far has not recorded any death from COVID-19 cases.’ “In recognition of this feat by Madagascar, WHO has come out with a statement in support of considering Madagascar’s herbal drink as possible treatment for COVID-19. The President of the country said the factory for the mass production of the herbal drink will be operational in one month. “Madagascar’s herbal drink has received recognition and boost from other African Presidents, including those of Tanzania, Equatorial Guinea, Uganda, Egypt, Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Comoros and have ordered the Madagascar herbal drink for the treatment of COVID-19 cases in their various countries.

“Various similar claims of breakthroughs in the cure of COVID-19 by our scientists and alternative medical practitioners have received virtually no attention from the government, the Ministry of Health, the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 or the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC, but the government and its agencies have instead volunteered for the WHO “Solidarity” programne where, sadly, our citizens will be used as “lab rats” for WHO’s untested and unproven vaccines and treatments that are not indigenous to our people.

The lawmaker said he was aware that Professor Maurice Iwu, Chief Executive Officer of Bio-Resources Institute of Nigeria, had stated that his team of researchers have found a cure for coronavirus which information had been conveyed to the Ministers of Health and Science and Technology. He lamented that till date, no action had been taken by government to verify the authenticity of this claim and that the Traditional Complementary and Alternative Medicine Department of the Ministry of Health had written to the Director-General of the NAFDAC informing her that the Department, through its research, has formulated a possible cure for the management of COVID-19 ailments.

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