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27 May 2020

Health ministry gets Madagascar’s drug from SGF today

Barring any last-minute change in plan, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, will on Wednesday (today) hand over Madagascan native formulation for the treatment of COVID-19 to the Ministry of Health.

Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, disclosed this on Sunday evening during a programme on Channels Television Sunday Politics.

It was gathered that over a week after receiving the Madagascan formulation for the treatment of COVID-19, the Presidency had yet to send the samples to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control for testing.

The report had quoted a source as saying that the drug, which was delivered to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), by his Guinea Bissau counterpart, Umarro Embalo, 10 days ago, had remained in the possession of the SGF.

Ehanire, in confirming the report, said his ministry would take delivery of the drug “on the next working day”.

Since the Federal Government has declared Monday and Tuesday as public holidays to mark this year’s Eid-el-Fitr, the next working day is Wednesday.

The minister said, “The Madagascar herb is supposed to be handed over to the Ministry of Health on the next working day.

“That’s when we will pick it up and then send to our research institutes, first of course to NAFDAC and then to the Nigeria Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development to look into it and tell us what it is.”

The SGF had, at the daily COVID-19 briefing last Tuesday said he had received the consignment of Madagascar’s drug and that it would be sent to the ministry of health.

“I am going to engage the minister of health who has the responsibility of validation, through his institutions that are chartered by law to do that. The President was upfront with that even when he took delivery of it from the President of Guinea Bissau,” Mustapha had said.

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