Fred Ezeh, Abuja
The World Health Organisation (WHO) has stopped hydroxychloroquine solidarity trial for the treatment of COVID-19 patients, three days after the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew its approval for the emergency use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, saying they may not be effective for the infection.
WHO said evidence has shown that hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug, does not reduce the mortality rate of COVID-19.
“The Solidarity Trial’s hydroxychloroquine arm is being stopped, on the basis of evidence showing it does not reduce mortality for hospitalised #COVID19 patients,” it said.
WHO earlier suspended the trial on the use of the drug for the treatment of COVID-19 patients after a study published by The Lancet claimed chloroquine had no positive effect on the treatment of COVID-19 among 96,032 sampled patients.
The study also reported a higher mortality rate among those who used the drug. But on June 3, the organisation made a U-turn and said it was resuming clinical trial of the drug.
This was after a report revealed that the clinical trial of the drug was suspended based on questionable data.
Tedros Ghebreyesus, the WHO director-general, said findings by the WHO data safety monitoring board revealed that there was no reason to discontinue the trial after reviewing available data on the drug.
However, another drug, dexamethasone has been described as a breakthrough in the fight against the deadly disease.
Meanwhile, the global health agency has certified Nigeria a polio free country, after three consecutive years of non record of outbreak. The process of certification which commenced few months ago culminated in the complete documentation by the officials of the National Primary Healthcare Development Agency (NPHCDA) and was accepted by the World Health Organisation team. WHO Nigeria Country office, in a tweet, yesterday, said: “Today, Nigeria’s complete documentation for wild polio virus free status was accepted by the Africa Regional Certification Commission for polio eradication (ARCC). It is a historic day for Nigeria, Africa and the Global Polio Programme!”