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COVID-19: Nigerian govt clashes with WHO over use of Chloroquine

Olorunnimbe Mamora, minister of state for health, says the World Health Organisation cannot dictate to Nigeria on the steps to take in the fight against COVID-19.

On Monday, WHO had announced the suspension of the solidarity trial which featured the use of hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients.

Tedros Ghebreyesus, WHO director-general, had said the global health body decided to halt the trial due to safety concerns.

But one day later, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) said Nigeria would continue the trial which it said had been effective in treating COVID-19 patients, especially those at the mild stage of infection.

But speaking at the presidential task force (PTF) on COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, Mamora said WHO only provides guidelines which countries can adapt according to their peculiarities.

“We are still working on drugs. Don’t forget that even the hydroxychloroquine is still being worked on as we speak. It’s important for us to make it clear that the WHO does not dictate to countries as to what to do,” Mamora said.

“They only provide guidance and guidelines, not dictate, because the reality is that each country is expected to look at those realities on ground and leave room for innovation, flexibility and adaptation as dictated by the realities on ground in each country.

“So we’re still looking at the issues of drugs; we are still looking at the issues of vaccine as well, also in the areas of research.”

He said the federal government is working based on science, evidence and research in containing the spread of the virus.

“One of the researches that has come out of our own situation is establishing that what we have here is the same strain in Wuhan,” he said.

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Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka
Chuka (Webby) Aniemeka

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