The race to finding a cure for Coronavirus, COVID-19 in Africa has again put a question mark on the claim that Nigeria is the giant of Africa.
Many Nigerians wonder if the country has the wither will to come up with a locally manufactured vaccine for the virus.
The African continent has its share out of the coronavirus outbreak with the World Health Organization, African region putting the number of confirmed cases in the continent at 95,332 and 2,995 deaths as of Thursday, May 21 2020.
Before the first confirmed case in Nigeria, the Presidency and some government officials had assured Nigerians of the readiness to manage the pandemic if it eventually reaches Nigeria.
Alas, confirmed cases in Nigeria stands at over 6,000 with about 200 deaths. Still, there is no cure in sight, except for the Madagascar herbal tonic brought into the country.
Giant Of Africa
Nigeria has a population of over one hundred and eighty million, and it is the most populous black country.
It follows the likes of Pakistan, Brazil, Indonesia, USA, India and China but, yet to come up with a cure after almost three months, the first case was confirmed.
Though a former chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Professor Maurice Iwu had on March 2, 2020, claimed that his team had discovered a possible COVID 19 treatment in 2015.
Iwu said he had briefed the Minister of Science and Technology, Ogbonnaya Onu and his Health counterpart, Dr Osagie Ehanire, in Abuja.
He added that the institute needs the federal government’s support to translate the compound into a drug for the treatment of the virus.
You will recall that before Madagascar announced that it had discovered a herbal tonic for the treatment of Coronavirus patients.
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi had listed some herbs which he recommended as a cure for the virus, but he the Monarch was ignored.
Madagascar came up with a herbal tonic and later exported it to some African countries. However, the World Health Organization said that the tonic had not been taking through a clinical trial to ascertain its effectiveness.
Reacting to the WHO’s stand, Madagascar President, Andry Rajoelina said criticism of the herbal tonic shows the West’s condescending attitude towards Africa.
He opined that there would not have been so much doubt if it was a European country that had discovered the proposed remedy.
Also, the African Union, AU demanded the proof to show that COVID-Organics is effective.
WHO Africa region later confirmed that a meeting of 70 experts on African traditional medicine has agreed that there there is the need for clinical trials for all medication.
With the Coronavirus pandemic and the rate of conducting tests on Nigerians compared to other African and European countries, Nigeria seems to be lagging in tackling the virus.
Many other African countries have embarked on research to find a cure for the virus. Still, State and the Federal government are yet to come up with any form of support for Medical researchers to research the possible cure for the pandemic.
Nigerians are brilliant and doing well in different countries around the world, but it seems the case is different when it comes to them having the support and platform to give their best to the development of the country.
Can we still say Nigeria is the giant of Africa with the pace the government responded to this global pandemic which has affected almost every phase of activities and sectors in the country?
Unfortunately, the Nigerian government has been dragging foot in working on modalities that will make it easy for Nigerians to stay indoor without dying from hunger.
Is Nigeria still the giant of Africa?