The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, NAFDAC, has disclosed that the ongoing clinical trial for hydroxychloroquine will continue in Nigeria, despite the World Health Organisation, WHO’s directive against doing so.
Recall that the WHO had called for temporary suspension of clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19, anchoring their decision on a study in The Lancet that the use of the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their likelihood of dying.
However, appearing on the Television Continental, TVC, program on Tuesday, The NAFDAC’s Director-General, Mojisola Adeyeye, said there are proven records that hydroxychloroquine has been effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
According to her, the drug is most effective in those at the mild stage of the virus.
“There is data to prove that hydroxychloroquine worked for many COVID-19 patients.
“Therefore, we would continue our own clinical trials in Nigeria.
“Hydroxychloroquine has been proved to work at a mild stage. So the potency depends on the severity of the disease in the patient’s body,” she said.
Meanwhile, the Presidential Task Force, PTF, on COVID-19 had on Friday warned against large purchase of Hydroxychloroquine to treat the novel Coronavirus, saying the drug had not been certified for use.
Mustapha Boss, the Chairman of PTF and the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), said this at the PTF COVID-19 daily press briefing on Thursday in Abuja.
He said through the surveillance system set up by the PTF, it had received reports that Nigerians had been purchasing Hydroxychloroquine in large quantities to treat the virus.
“We wish to reiterate that this drug has not being certified for use in treating COVID-19 in Nigeria by the relevant health and pharmaceutical authorities.
“Self-medication of any kind is fraught with the danger of increasing risks of avoidable casualties. We therefore strongly warn against self-medication,” he said.
According to him, “if you are sick, please seek medical advice and if you are confirmed positive, kindly self-isolate in an approved facility, the COVID-19 is highly infectious and dangerous”.
He stated that the PTF had continued to receive support, donation of equipment and solidarity messages from professional organisations.
He acknowledged the support of Nigerian Institute of Quantity Surveyors (NIQS) and the Chemical Society of Nigeria (CSN).
Others were the NNPC and its partner, Messrs OCEA S.A, through its Nigerian representative, Mystrose Defense Systems Ltd.
Mr Mustapha said May 20th served as a reminder to the world about the severity of the COVID-19 when the World Health Organisation (WHO) reminded the world that there was still a long way to go in fighting the pandemic
Quoting Dr Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO Director General, who said 106,000 cases were recorded globally in 24 hours, representing the highest single day number since the outbreak of the pandemic.
“This is significant because it brings to realisation, the relentless assault of the virus on humanity,” he said.
Mr Mustapha added that for Nigeria, the importance of such message was clear, adding that there is need to eschew skepticism about the existence of COVID-19 and its potency.