Rijasoa Andriamanana, Madagascar’s education minister, has been relieved of her duties over plans to buy more than $2 million worth of candy for schoolchildren.

According to BBC, Rijasoa had explained that students would be given three lollipops each to mask the bitter aftertaste of COVID-Organics, an untested herbal remedy for COVID-19, in a budget that had caused mixed reactions.

The plan would later be called off after Andry Rajoelina, the country’s president, who had long been promoting the herbal tonic, openly objected to it.

This had come after several African countries, including Nigeria, took delivery of the medicine while others were set to do the same amid doubts about its effectiveness in the global community.

“I think the problem is that (the drink) comes from Africa and they can’t admit that a country like Madagascar has come up with this formula to save the world,” Rajoelina was quoted to have said.

“What if this had been discovered by a European country instead of Madagascar. Will people doubt it so much? I can tell you that patients who have received the remedy prove that it works.”

While the World Health Organisation (WHO) called for caution in taking the purported remedy, President Muhammadu Buhari had said it would undergo verification before being put to use.

So far, Madagascar has had 1,026 confirmed cases of the virus, with 212 recoveries and eight deaths.



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