Nigeria to continue Chloroquine tests regardless W H O ban
The Director General, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye, says Nigeria will continue with the Solidarity Trial of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, even when the World Health Organisation had directed its suspension due to safety concerns.
Speaking on a live TV interview on Tuesday, Adeyeye said the study, which started a few days ago, will continue in order to confirm how the Black population reacts to the drug.
“I do not know the data they (WHO) are looking at. Whether it is from the Caucasian population or from the African population.
“I know that the clinical trial started a few days in Lagos and I know that when you do clinical trial, there are many factors that can affect the outcome.
“The way drug is handled, even from children of the same mother, may be different, not to talk of populations.
“If the data they are looking at is from the Caucasian population, then it may be justified.
“But, I don’t think we have data from the African population yet and our genetic population is different.
“For example, look at the drug used for hypertension. There are some that will work for the African population that will not work for the Caucasian population.
“So, when you are doing science experiment or clinical trial, you wait for the data.
“Once we start getting our own data in Africa, then it may go one way or the other. But I don’t dispute what the WHO conclusion was,” she said.
When asked specifically if the Solidarity Trial will continue in Lagos, the DG said, “Yes. That is my understanding.”
Adeyeye stated further that COVID-19 is evolving as new information comes out every day, noting that recent studies have shown that there are three stages to the disease.
“The early stage, the mild and the severe stage. It is very likely that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine will work at the initial stage and up to the mild stage.
“So, it depends also on the severity of the disease when it was given.
“When it gets to the severe stage, the body is overwhelmed by the pro-inflammatory proteins which usually show up when something drastic is happening to a human being and at that point, chloroquine may not work.
“Again, I don’t have data to prove that; but there is data to prove that chloroquine worked for many patients that had COVID-19.
“It is based on research. It is now whether those patients were at the early to mild stage.
“That’s why I made a comment about genetic factor. Our own clinical trial data will point out the truth about this science. Science does not lie if the experiment is well designed.”
The DG NAFDAC said Nigerians might be reacting differently to the COVID-19 pandemic, but stressed that only science could prove it.
“This is what the clinical trial in Africa is going to do.
“We have the Solidarity Trial going on in many countries and the data will show us exactly what is happening,” she said.