Back to Africa Check

No, US coronavirus aid for Madagascar won’t fund ‘Covid-19 remedy’

“Trump offers $2.5 million to Madagascar to develop the Covid-19 remedy,” reads the headline of an article by the Zambian Observer.

The article says Michael Pelletier, the US ambassador to Madagascar, “gave the news on April 21, 2020”.

The US has granted Madagascar US$2.5 million in health assistance during the Covid-19 outbreak.

But is the money “to develop the Covid-19 remedy”?

Madagascar president’s ‘cure’

On 21 April Madagascar’s president Andry Rajoelina launched Covid-Organics, a herbal remedy he claimed could cure Covid-19.

The World Health Organization and African Union have advised that it be properly tested for safety and efficacy before it is prescribed as a cure. The Zambian Observer does not mention the tonic by name.

‘Strengthen health response across the country’

Pelletier announced the US aid package on 20 April. US president Donald Trump does not appear to have commented on the donation, and official statements have not mentioned development of a remedy.

In a video announcing the aid package, Pelletier said: “This money will be used to strengthen the health response across the country including hospitals, laboratories, and community health.”

According to a statement posted on Twitter by US Aid Madagascar, the funding “will help expand Covid-19 testing, disease surveillance, and education”.

There is no mention of the money being earmarked to develop the remedy. Instead, official announcements have emphasised testing, education, and tracing efforts, as well as what Pelletier called a longstanding mission to “build resilient health care systems that can prevent, detect, and respond to infectious disease outbreaks”.

Africa Check has previously debunked a number of false articles published in the Zambian Observer. – Keegan Leech


Republish our content for free

We believe that everyone needs the facts.

You can republish the text of this article free of charge, both online and in print. However, we ask that you pay attention to these simple guidelines. In a nutshell:

1. Do not include images, as in most cases we do not own the copyright.

2. Please do not edit the article.

3. Make sure you credit "Africa Check" in the byline and don't forget to mention that the article was originally published on

For publishers: what to do if your post is rated false

A fact-checker has rated your Facebook or Instagram post as “false”, “altered”, “partly false” or “missing context”. This could have serious consequences. What do you do?

Click on our guide for the steps you should follow.

Publishers guide

Africa Check teams up with Facebook

Africa Check is a partner in Meta's third-party fact-checking programme to help stop the spread of false information on social media.

The content we rate as “false” will be downgraded on Facebook and Instagram. This means fewer people will see it.

You can also help identify false information on Facebook. This guide explains how.

Add new comment

Restricted HTML

  • Allowed HTML tags: <a href hreflang> <em> <strong> <cite> <blockquote cite> <code> <ul type> <ol start type> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd> <h2 id> <h3 id> <h4 id> <h5 id> <h6 id>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.
limit: 600 characters

Want to keep reading our fact-checks?

We will never charge you for verified, reliable information. Help us keep it that way by supporting our work.

Become a newsletter subscriber

Support independent fact-checking in Africa.