The director of Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), Mojisola Adeyeye, has disclosed that clinical trails for virus treatment using chloroquine will continue despite a recent move by the WHO to suspend a similar trial over safety concerns.
She told a local broadcaster that even though Nafdac did not dispute WHO’s conclusions, the decision to continue with the trial was in order to generate their own data.
“I do not know the data that they’re looking at, whether it’s from the Caucasian population or from the African population. If the data they’re looking at and the reason for suspending the trials is from the Caucasian population, then it may be justified.
“But I don’t think we have data from the African population yet, because our genetic make up is different,” she added. Lagos State had announced last week that trials were to start with the anti-malarial drug.
A number of African countries have also been using the drug to treat COVID-19. Algeria has also said it will continue using it for treatment. Cameroon’s health minister recently affirmed that chloroquine continued to be the preferred drug for treatment.
Medical journal, The Lancet reported on Friday May 22 that patients getting hydroxychloroquine were dying at higher rates than other coronavirus patients.
The WHO has 3,500 patients from 17 countries enrolled in what it calls the Solidarity Trial. This is an effort overseen by the WHO to find new treatments for COVID-19.