SEP 21, 2020 10:30 AM PDT

WHO Endorses Clinical Trials for Herbal Medicines to Treat COVID-19

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

The World Health Organization has endorsed a protocol to put African herbal medicines through clinical trials as possible treatments for COVID-19 and other epidemics. The organization also endorsed a charter and terms of reference to establish a data and safety monitoring board for these trials. 

"The onset of COVID-19, like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, has highlighted the need for strengthened health systems and accelerated research and development programmes, including on traditional medicines," says Dr. Prosper Tumusiime, Director of Universal Health Coverage and Life Course Cluster at the WHO Regional Office for Africa.

In endorsing both the clinical trials and the monitoring board, the organization hopes to empower scientists in Africa to conduct clinical trials on potential treatments that ensure the quality, safety, and efficacy of traditional medicines meet international standards. 

As a part of the protocol, would any medicines from trials be considered effective and safe, the WHO will then recommend them for fast-tracked, large-scale local manufacturing. According to Dr. Tumusiime, there is currently a benchmark from which clinical trials of medicines and vaccines in the region could be assessed and approved in less than 60 days. 

The news comes after earlier claims from Madagascar that a herbal concoction, known as Covid-Organics, is able to prevent the spread of COVID-19. While results from clinical trials have not been made public, the president of Madagascar, Andry Rajoelina, says that free distribution of the drink was responsible for low infection rates in the Madagascan capital's suburbs in August. The drink has also been distributed to several other African nations as a 'cure' for the virus. 

There is, however, no other evidence on the tonic's efficacy. An official from Nigeria's National Institute of Pharmaceutical Research and Development said, "They are hiding a lot of things, and I think it is possible that they know that they don't have strong science backing up their claim. But our own analysis does not show any proof that it can cure COVID-19."

 

Sources: AAWHOScience Alert, BBC

About the Author
  • Annie Lennon is a writer whose work also appears in Medical News Today, Psych Central, Psychology Today, and other outlets. When she's not writing, she is COO of Xeurix, an HR startup that assesses jobfit from gamified workplace simulations.
You May Also Like
JUN 28, 2021
Microbiology
Small Clinical Trial Suggests New Edible Cholera Vaccine Is Safe
JUN 28, 2021
Small Clinical Trial Suggests New Edible Cholera Vaccine Is Safe
According to WHO there have been six cholera pandemics since the pathogen emerged from the Ganges river delta sometime i ...
JUN 29, 2021
Technology
Can Digital Simulations Replace Real People in Clinical Trials? Maybe
JUN 29, 2021
Can Digital Simulations Replace Real People in Clinical Trials? Maybe
Clinical trials are essential to the development of new drugs and medicines, and they offer new insights every day about ...
AUG 02, 2021
Technology
A powerful combination: The Zeno trap and electron activated dissociation (EAD) fragmentation technology
AUG 02, 2021
A powerful combination: The Zeno trap and electron activated dissociation (EAD) fragmentation technology
Sensitivity is a fundamental performance characteristic of a mass spectrometer. Increasingly higher sensitivities are in ...
AUG 01, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
Berry Compound Reverses Parkinson's in Mice
AUG 01, 2021
Berry Compound Reverses Parkinson's in Mice
A naturally-occurring compound called farnesol found in berries and other fruits prevents and reverses Parkinson's-a ...
AUG 19, 2021
Cancer
Japanese Berry Vine Could Treat Lung Cancer
AUG 19, 2021
Japanese Berry Vine Could Treat Lung Cancer
A berry-producing vine in Japan has shown promise in mouse models for treating lung cancer. The corresponding study was ...
SEP 07, 2021
Drug Discovery & Development
A giant step in treating growth disorders in children.
SEP 07, 2021
A giant step in treating growth disorders in children.
Hormone production and release is important in individuals of all ages but is especially important for children as hormo ...
Loading Comments...