An Abuja-based physician, Dr. Mohammed Ahmed-Danfulani has supported the call by the President of United States, Donald Trump, for American health officials to adopt chloroquine as a potent drug for treating coronavirus patients.
Forbes had reported that President Trump, in a press briefing on Thursday (today), said that chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine, drugs used to treat malaria and severe arthritis, were approved by the Food and Drug Administration to test as a COVID-19 coronavirus treatment, as the number of cases nationwide continues to increase.
Trump also disclosed that other antiviral medications will be fast-tracked for FDA approval.
Mr. Ahmad, a renown Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) Surgeon while speaking to PRNigeria on the latest development, commended the federal and state governments in Nigeria for their proactive initiatives in curtailing the spread of Coronavirus in the country.
He also advised the Ministry of Health and other health-related stakeholders to also consider and test the efficacy of chloroquine on persons already quarantined at some isolation centres and treatment facilities in the country.
Dr. Danfulani who explained that using chloroquine is safe, said the popular anti-malaria drug does not have adverse side effects.
He said: “It is a common knowledge that chloroquine has potent effects not only on malaria parasite but on other viral diseases and illnesses.”
Dr. Ahmed, however said, the actual ‘therapeutic power’ of the drug can only be ascertained after it has been tested on COVID19 patients, and yield good result.
His words: “It is safe for Nigerian health officials and medical personnel to consider the use of chloroquine on COVID19 suspects. There is nothing wrong or bad in doing. The patients are not going to lose anything, but may perhaps get better since the drug doesn’t have any known side effects.”
The former Chief Medical Director (CMD) of Kubwa General Hospital, expressed displeasure over the non-challant attitudes of some groups to curb the spread of the virus.
He said one of the important methods of controlling COVID19 is through the total lockdown of schools, markets and other public places.
“I am pleased with the preparation against the epidemic at airports, which are the major entry points into the country. But since not all those who are said to have contacted it in Nigeria flew in by air, then I am a little bit nervous about how to effectively checkmate its rapid spread,” he added.
Dr. Ahmad, said the woman who was kept at an isolation centre in Enugu, didn’t die of coronavirus, but as a result of other circumstances that were avoidable.
While applauding the closure of schools and banning of public gathering by some State Governments, Ahmad, warned against shutting markets, saying such a move will only result in the hike of food prices, while also creating Mass panic.
He urged FG to embark on massive sensitization of the general public on the benefits of handwashing to reduce the chances of spreading the disease.