Madagascar’s education minister has been rightfully fired for devising a bizarre plan to order $2 million worth of lollipops for schoolchildren.
Now-former government official Rijasoa Andriamanana had presented lollipops as an incentive for children to take a bitter herbal tonic dubbed Covid-Organics, which has been as a coronavirus cure. While President Andry Rajoelina promotes the unproven supplement as an effective way to fight the disease, his objections to the Andriamanana’s absurdly expensive lollipop initiative lead to the minister’s sacking.
Madagascar, an island nation located in the Indian ocean that’s located off of the eastern coast of Africa, is one of the world’s 10 poorest countries. According to USA Today, Madagascar’s Gross Domestic Product in 2017 was just $36.2 billion in 2017.
According to the BBC, Madagascar’s National Medical Academy has expressed doubt in the artemisia-based drink, saying it even had potentially damaging health consequences.
“If it was a European country that had actually discovered this remedy, would there be so much doubt? I don’t think so,” Rajoelina told a French news channel.
World Health Organization (WHO) director general Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus warned of the danger of spreading false information about the virus before it had caused a pandemic, according to Medical News Today.
“We’re not just fighting an epidemic; we’re fighting an infodemic,” he said at a conference in February. “Fake news spreads faster and more easily than this virus and is just as dangerous.”