Researchers Propose Ivermectin For COVID-19 Treatment, Present Findings To Osinbajo

Nigeria Surpasses 30% COVID-19 Vaccination Milestone

A group of researchers led by the Principal investigator, Prof. Femi Babalola, and Chief Medical Director, Lagos University Teaching Hospital,  Prof. Chris Bode, has recommended a drug, Ivermectin, to the Federal Government for the treatment of COVID-19.

A statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande, on Tuesday, said the findings of the research on the efficacy of the drug was presented to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at a virtual event.

The study suggested that Ivermectin should be adopted for the uniform treatment guidelines of COVID- 19 in Nigeria and could be used as prophylaxis before the rollout of vaccination programmes.

The study noted that the randomisation was effective based on distribution of age, sex and some clinical presentation at baseline such as cough and fever.

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The overall results showed that the “Days-To-Negative (DTN) reduced by 3.8 days overall. While a few patients are negative by day two, 50 percent are negative by day 5.”
The statement said the study indicated that clinical trials of Ivermectin had been carried out in at least 21 countries worldwide, including Nigeria.

It referenced the “Meta-analysis of clinical trials of Ivermectin to treat COVID-19 infection” by Dr. Andrew Hill, Department of Pharmacology, University of Liverpool, United Kingdom.

The study revealed that the mechanism of action of Ivermectin, include inhibiting viral entry into cells nucleus; and direct suppression of viral RNA load of SARS CoV 2, among others.
According to the findings, Ivermectin is orally absorbed with higher absorption as a solution better than tablets, which informed the suggested frequency of dosing, which is twice a week.

Osinbajo welcomed the efforts of the team of Nigerian professors and scientists who investigated the effectiveness of, and roles that Ivermectin drug could play in the treatment of the Coronavirus disease.
The team, which is composed of Nigerian scholars at home and abroad, has also submitted their report on the usefulness of the drug to the World Health Organisation which has already appointed a Peer Review expert from the United Kingdom.
Speaking while being briefed on the report by a team of scientists Osinbajo expressed excitement that Nigeria and Nigerians “are at the cutting edge of scientific research into the COVID-19 treatment.”
He said, “We have an opportunity here and I am so fascinated to hear this drug has been used in the treatment of River Blindness in this country.”
While commending the efforts of the team, Osinbajo said that with the report, Nigeria was at an advantage both in knowledge and availability of the drug, especially since Ivermectin had been found useful not only in the treatment of COVID-19, but also as a prophylactic medication.
He promised that the Federal Government would explore further ways to support the research for the benefit of Nigerians and humanity generally, while also advancing the effective funding of scientific research in the country.

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