• Friday, June 21, 2024
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NAFDAC says Chloroquine only effective for early stage of COVID-19 infection

Mojisola Adeyeye

National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on Tuesday is effective in killing COVID-19 virus, but only at the early stage of infection.

Mojisola Adeyeye, Director General of the Agency explained that the virus has about four stages which includes, the pre-exposure, early, mild and severe stages, and research has found that chloroquine will not work in other stages of the disease.

She also disclosed that more than one drug can be effective for COVID-19, depending on the stage of the disease, this means different drugs can be used to treat different stages of the disease.

The DG, who made this known on at a virtual media conference also informed that remdesivir is only effective for the late or severe stage of COVID-19 infection.

The DG recalled that when it was conducting clinical trials on both drugs it could not tell what stage the drug will be effective. “Now, we are realising that Chloroquine is effective, but not for every stage of the disease, we are now understanding that it’s not only one drug that can be effective for COVID-19, it depends in the stage of the disease”, she said.

The DG, however noted that it’s cheaper to treat patients with chloroquine than remdesivir. According to her remdesivir cost $2,500 while chloroquine cost $10.

The DG further informed that the agency is working hard to attain the level-3 of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Benchmark Tool (GBT) to enable Nigeria produce vaccines.

“This is a big project for NAFDAC, we have to get to level three so that we can manufacture our own vaccines. We have brains, but we have nothing to show for it. Nigeria has been blessed with researchers that have made vaccines, but what use is it, if it sits on the shelves?” She said.

Speaking further, Adeyeye said she inherited a debt of N3.2 billion when she assumed office in November 2017, which has however been settled.

She also informed that over N7 billion was generated in 2017, while over N2.5 billion and N3.1 billion were generated from the agency’s IGR in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

“When I resumed office, it was like being thrown into an ocean of problems, so, I started digging into why the agency got into such debt and how to get out of it.

“When I resumed office, it was like being thrown into an ocean of problems, so, I started digging into why the agency got into such debt and how to get out of it.

“I was shocked when I saw that 80 per cent of the equipment in the NAFDAC laboratories were not functioning. directors have no laptops to work with, incessant industrial actions and lack of utility vehicles are the many problems facing the agency”.

She said the agency underwent thorough review and overhaul in order to achieve its mandate.