Liberia’s medical practitioner, David Sumo has warned that before any alternative medicine like the Malagasy COVID-19 tea is used in the country, it must be thoroughly assessed by the proper health authorities.
The former Managing Director at the Liberia Medical and Health Product Regulatory Authority (LMHRA) noted that in the absence of a treatment for the Coronavirus disease that has engulfed the entire world taking away many precious lives, there will be remedies to cure the disease, but must be quick assessed medically.
In an exclusive interview with this paper, the LMHRA former Managing Director also indicated that during this coronavirus fight, there will be many suggestions for finding remedy to the COVID-19 which will include the use of Herbal Concoctions.
“I will not be surprised if more of our local people begin to find their own remedies specifically if the situation worsens, Africans have had a long history of herbal medicine,” Dr. Sumo said.
The former LMHRA Managing Director who holds a PhD in Pharmacy said the natural response from man against diseases like the ongoing COVID-19 situation is to fight back as hard as possible against the disease, but must be done in accordance with local and international health standards.
According to Dr. Sumo, in the absence of a scientific process validation for safety and efficacy, the World Health Organization (WHO) was right to make a disclaimer about the Malagasy COVID-19 tea, adding that it does not mean that a person who chooses to try the product would be denied from doing so but could be doing it at his or her own risk.
However, he noted that in a world of advanced technologies and artificial intelligence that they are still struggling against an invisible enemy that has the potential to eliminate mankind if they fail to acquire the necessary weapons to defeat this common enemy (coronavirus).
In a brief interview, Dr. Sumo stated that instead of being unnecessarily critical about the source of a weapon against the coronavirus, “we should unite and mobilize our best minds against this common enemy with everything we can find to win this war.”
“Alternative medicine has had a long history in the world including Africa and more so Liberia. This means that a person or people who choose to use an unapproved herbal product, should be allowed based on personal consent,” the former LMHRA Managing Director noted.
Meanwhile, Mr. Sumo warned that Liberia must do a quick assessment of any such products to ensure that it is free of harmful contaminants (microbes, toxic chemicals, heavy metals, etc.)
Lastly, Dr. Sumo pointed out that any therapeutic claim for herbal product like that of the COVID-19 herbal tea from Madagascar can only be proven by the original producer, but suggested that Liberians should not refer to Malagasy COVID-19 tea as a treatment for now until it is otherwise proven and tested.