Madagascar Health Minister Fired after seeking outside help for COVID-19

21st August 2020

On Thursday, Madagascar announced that it had fired its health minister as part of a government reshuffle.

This move comes shortly after Health Minister Ahmad Ahmad disagreed with President Andry Rajoelina for seeking outside help for their outbreak.

EWN reports that hospitals on the island nation experienced bed shortages, prompting the Health Minister to write a letter in July asking fro international agencies to send medical equipment.

Despite an official campaign to promote a controversial herbal drink touted as a cure for COVID-19, Madagascar has recorded more than 14 000 infections and over 170 fatalities caused by the virus.

Health Minister Ahmad's appeal sparked outrage amongst Rajoelina's administration, which said that the move was done without consulting either the government or head of state.

The artemisia-derived Coivd-Organics remedy has been widely distributed in Madagascar and even sold in some African countries.

The World Health Organisation said that it had yet to see published scientific studies to validate the Madagascan president's claims, and scientists have warned of potential risks associated with untested remedies.

Madagascar has, however, seen a reduction in the rate of new daily confirmed cases which dropped from an average of over 400 in July to around 80 on Monday.

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