After receiving the Madagascan native formulation for the treatment of COVID-19 for over a week, the Presidency has yet to send the samples to the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control for testing,
A top sources said that the drug, which was delivered to the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), by his Guinea Bissau counterpart, Umarro Embalo, nine days ago had remained in the possession of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha.
He said, “We were told that the drug, which was delivered in five cartons, was delivered to the SGF who was supposed to deliver the sample to the Federal Ministry of Health and then NAFDAC for testing.
“However, as of today, May 23, 2020, the sample has not been sent to NAFDAC for testing. I even doubt if the ministry has received it. And work resumes on Wednesday.”
He noted that this was the same manner in which some drugs sent to Nigeria by the West African Health Organisation were delayed by over a month due to bureaucratic processes.
He added, “In March, WAHO (West African Health Organisation) distributed 30,500 diagnostic test kits; 10,000 Personal Protective Equipment and 740,000 Chloroquine and Azithromycin tablets to be shared by all ECOWAS states, including Nigeria.
“The drugs were to be certified by NAFDAC before use. However, NAFDAC only received the drugs a month after they had arrived. These delays were caused by government bureaucracy.”
The source lamented that it might be June before the Madagascan drug could be deployed for scientific analysis, adding that herbal drugs would need a longer testing period than orthodox medicine.
He said NAFDAC would check for animal toxicity, microbial content and others in the drug which might take about 10 days.
“It could take about 10 days for NAFDAC to test and certify the drugs. So, the Madagascan medicine should have been sent on time in anticipation of the testing time but that has not been done,” he said.
The SGF had, at the daily COVID-19 briefing last Tuesday, said he had received the consignment and it would be sent to the ministry of health.
Mustapha had said, “As God would have it, the President of Guinea Bissau decided to visit our President last Saturday and when he was coming, he came with our consignment of five cartons and those five cartons were delivered to me yesterday in the evening, sealed, without a bottle out of it.
“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”.
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