FALSE: African leaders have not approved Madagascar’s Covid-19 herbal remedy
Jun 08
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PesaCheck is a pioneering verification initiative that is helping kickstart fact-checking across East Africa. PesaCheck is an innovateAFRICA.fund grantee, and receives additional support from the International Budget Partnership, Code for Africa and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).
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Discussions are still ongoing at the AU over its safety and effectiveness.

Facebook post claiming that 10 African heads of state have approved COVID-Organics, Madagascar’s herbal remedy for COVID-19, is FALSE.

The post, shared by Gideon Bansel on May 6, claims that 10 African leaders discussed COVID-Organics in detail, and approved the herbal remedy during a virtual meeting held on May 2 and facilitated by Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina.

However, a press statement from the African Union (AU) indicates that the heads of states are still holding discussions to assess the safety and efficacy of COVID-Organics, launched recently by President Rajoelina.

According to the statement, AU Commissioner for Social Affairs, Ms Amira El-Fadil met Madagascar’s emissary on April 30. It was agreed that the country would furnish the AU with details about COVID-Organics, which will be reviewed and assessed by the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention. The results of the assessment will inform any further actions that the Union may take.

On April 29, President Rajoelina presented COVID-Organics to other African leaders during a teleconference meeting. The meeting was attended by 12 African leaders, and convened by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in his capacity as the AU chairperson. This convention involved AU heads of state and chairpersons of the Regional Economic Communities (RECs), and was set to discuss actions and initiatives undertaken to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in the continent.

The other ten African leaders who were present at the meeting were; President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda, President Félix Tshisekedi of the Democratic Republic of Congo, President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta of Mali, Chad’s President Idriss Deby Itno, President Ali Bongo of Gabon, President Issoufou Mahamadou of Niger, Sudan Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and Mohammed Taher Sayila, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Libya.

These are the same leaders who were mentioned as having approved the use of COVID-Organics, but this is not the case.

PesaCheck has looked into the claim that African heads of state have approved Madagascar’s herbal remedy against COVID-19 and finds it to be FALSE.


This post is part of an ongoing series of PesaCheck fact-checks examining content marked as potential misinformation on Facebook and other social media platforms.

By partnering with Facebook and similar social media platforms, third-party fact-checking organisations like PesaCheck are helping to sort fact from fiction. We do this by giving the public deeper insight and context to posts they see in their social media feeds.

Have you spotted what you think is fake news or false information on Facebook? Here’s how you can report. And, here’s more information on PesaCheck’s methodology for fact-checking questionable content.

This fact-check was written by Fact-Checker Linda Ngari and edited by PesaCheck Deputy Editor Enock Nyariki.

The article was approved for publication by PesaCheck Managing Editor Eric Mugendi.

PesaCheck is East Africa’s first public finance fact-checking initiative. It was co-founded by Catherine Gicheru and Justin Arenstein, and is being incubated by the continent’s largest civic technology and data journalism accelerator: Code for Africa. It seeks to help the public separate fact from fiction in public pronouncements about the numbers that shape our world, with a special emphasis on pronouncements about public finances that shape government’s delivery of Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) public services, such as healthcare, rural development and access to water/sanitation. PesaCheck also tests the accuracy of media reportage. To find out more about the project, visit pesacheck.org.

PesaCheck is an initiative of Code for Africa, through its innovateAFRICA fund, with support from Deutsche Welle Akademie, in partnership with a coalition of local media and other civic watchdog organisations in 14 African countries.

PesaCheck
Partner
PesaCheck is a pioneering verification initiative that is helping kickstart fact-checking across East Africa. PesaCheck is an innovateAFRICA.fund grantee, and receives additional support from the International Budget Partnership, Code for Africa and the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ).
WebsiteTwitter
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How should Africa, with its fragile healthcare systems and large informal economies tailor global strategies for fighting Covid-19 to ensure they are feasible and effective locally? African policymakers and health agencies need evidence-based insights with strong local context to make informed decisions. Outbreak.AFRICA seeks to help by giving actionable data and expert insights.

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This Code for Africa initiative was made possible with support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting.
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