A team of scientists in Nigeria has urged the Federal Government to consider Ivermectin for adoption into the uniform treatment guideline for COVID-19 in Nigeria.
The team, however, emphasised that the drug is not meant to replace other COVID-19 measures, but an additional tool which can be deployed to fight the pandemic.
Ivermectin, a drug that has been used for the treatment of River-blindness in Nigeria, the scientists said, can also be used in the treatment of COVID-19 pending the rollout of vaccination programme or alongside it.
The team, which was led by Professor Chris Bode, Chief Medical Director of University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) and comprised Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Diaspora-based Professors and scientists, gave the recommendation when it presented the report of its research on the use of Ivermectin to the treatment of coronavirus to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the State House Abuja.
The report was titled: “A randomised controlled trial for the repurposing of Ivermectin in the management of COVID-19,”
A statement on Tuesday by Laolu Akande, Senior Special Assistant Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, said the scientists had also forwarded the same report to the National Agency for Foods and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDA).
In the report, Akande said, the scientists indicated that Clinical trials of Ivermectin have been carried out in at least 21 countries worldwide, including Nigeria, and noted that 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 per cent are negative by day 5”
He said the Vice President welcomed the team’s efforts, and said that Nigeria is at an advantage both in knowledge and availability of the drug, especially since Ivermectin has been found useful not only in the treatment of COVID-19, but also as a prophylactic medication.
Akande said the Vice President said that the Federal Government would explore further ways to support the research, while also advancing the effective funding of scientific research in the country.