The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control says it will continue hydroxychloroquine clinical trials for the treatment of COVID-19 in Nigeria despite the suspension of the same by the World Health Organisation.
NAFDAC Director-General, Prof Mojisola Adeyeye, made this known on Tuesday during a Television programme
Adeyeye said there are proven records that hydroxychloroquine had been effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, especially 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.
The NAFDAC DG, who said Lagos State had already begun hydroxychloroquine clinical trials, noted that depending on the speed of work, the clinical trials should conclude in three to four months.
“If medical doctors, research scientists, pharmacists, herbal experts work together, we should conclude the clinical trial in three to four months. The narrative might change afterwards but for now, we believe in hydroxychloroquine.”
The United Nations specialised agency on global health said on Monday that it had “temporarily” suspended the clinical trials of hydroxychloroquine as a potential treatment for COVID-19.
It said the decision followed a study that using the drug on COVID-19 patients could increase their chance of dying.
“The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,” said WHO Chief, Tedros Ghebreyesus.
He stressed that hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine “are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria”, noting that the suspension was a temporary measure.