Nigeria to continue using hydroxychloroquine on Covid-19 patients

Wednesday May 27 2020

Hydroxychloroquine sits on a shelf at Rock

Hydroxychloroquine sits on a shelf at Rock Canyon Pharmacy in Provo, Utah, on May 20, 2020. PHOTO | GEORGE FREY | AFP 

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Nigerian authorities say they will continue to use hydroxychloroquine in treating Covid-19 patients despite WHO halting clinical trials of the anti-malarial.

Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac) on Tuesday said it will contin-ue to experiment with the drugs as they had proved effective in treating patients 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,” said Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, the Director General of Nafdac.

“The potency depends on the severity of the disease in the patient’s body,” Prof Adeyeye said, adding that Lagos State—the epicentre of the pandemic—has already begun hydroxychloroquine clinical trials.

“If medical doctors, research scientists, pharmacists, herbal experts work together, we should conclude the clinical trial on other drugs in three to four months. The narrative might change afterwards, but for now, we believe in hydroxychloroquine,” Prof Adeyeye added.

Nigeria has over 8,300 cases with 249 deaths since it recorded its first case in late February.