Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says that it will continue the clinical trials of Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine in Nigeria, despite the advice from the World Health Organisation (WHO) against such trials.The Director-General of NAFDAC, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, said on a Lagos-based private broadcast station, TVC, programme on Tuesday that there were proven records that Hydroxychloroquine had been effective in the treatment of COVID-19 patients, especially those at the “mild stage” of the virus.
The WHO had on Monday announced the temporary suspension of the clinical trials of Hydroxychloroquine as a potential drug for the treatment of COVID-19. It said the decision followed a study that using the drug on 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,” Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, had said.
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.
Local media reports on Wednesday said that Prof. Adeyeye disagreed with the WHO’s position, saying: “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 bady.”
According to Prof. Adeyeye, Lagos State has already begun Hydroxychloroquine clinical trials and depending on the speed of work, the clinical trials should be concluded within 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,” she said.
According to the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC), Nigeria recorded 276 infected cases on Tuesday, bringing the total infections to 8,344 with 2,385 persons discharged and 249 deaths.