How Pan-African Media helped Madagascar Advance its Claim of a COVID-19 'Miracle Cure' as a Form of Medical Diplomacy

Madagascar attracted global media attention in April 2020 when President Andry Rajoelina announced a plant-based tonic that he claimed could both prevent and cure the 2019 novel coronavirus (COVID-19). By then, the global outbreak was proliferating and the scientific community was in a race to find a solution. Rajoelina claimed the remedy, named Covid-Organics, had been tested and proven effective, and that the product was an African formula that would save the world. Leveraging medical diplomacy theory and aspects of information manipulation, this essay looks at the international communication and international relations implications of this development. Following analysis of global and pan-African media coverage, it is deduced that Covid-Organics has helped Madagascar extend its soft power and changed the way the country is covered in international news. There are indications that the Malagasy president and his ‘miracle cure’ could last longer on the international news agenda than we imagine.