Madagascar health minister on Thursday was forced out of office, as part of a government reshuffle, a move that came a month after he butted heads with the president for seeking outside help for coronavirus.
The Indian Ocean island-nation saw COVID-19 cases surge in July despite an official campaign to promote a controversial herbal drink touted as a remedy for the virus.
As hospitals raised concern about lack of beds, Health Minister Ahmad Ahmad wrote a letter in July asking international agencies to send medical equipment.
His appeal sparked anger in President Andry Rajoelina’s administration, which said Ahmad had acted “without consulting” either the government or head of state.
Ahmad’s cabinet exit was revealed on Thursday in the announcement of a new list of ministers following a reshuffle.
“Jean Louis Hanitrala Rakotovao has been named new health minister,” cabinet secretary Valery Ramonjavelo told a press conference, without giving details about the change.
Rajoelina has been promoting an infusion derived from Artemisia, a plant with proven anti-malarial properties, as a homegrown cure for COVID-19