The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) says it will continue chloroquine clinical trials for COVID-19 treatment despite the suspension of the drug test by the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Mojisola Adeyeye, NAFDAC director-general, made this known during a programme on TVC, on Tuesday.
On Monday, the WHO announced a “temporary pause” in its solidarity trial on the use of hydroxychloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 patients.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, cited the study published by The Lancet, which had examined the effects of the use of hydroxychloroquine alone or when used with a macrolide, and reported a higher mortality rate.
But the NAFDAC DG said there is data to prove that chloroquine is effective in treating COVID-19 patients, particularly at the “mild stage” of the virus.
She said Nigeria would continue its clinical trials which may take three to four months.
“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.
“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.”
During the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing On May 18, 2020, Fiona Braka, officer in charge of WHO in Nigeria, had announced that the solidarity trial had started in Nigeria.
Three days later, Akin Abayomi, commissioner for health in Lagos, also said the state had concluded plans to roll out hydroxychloroquine trials for possible prevention and treatment of COVID-19.