Vice-Chancellor of Chrisland University, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Professor Peace Chinedum Babalola, has admonished the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) on how chloroquine could be used to treat COVID-19.
Babalola, a Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences, explained that if used at the early stage, Chloroquine will not only cure coronavirus but could stop it from replicating itself.
She attributed the failure of the clinic trials of chloroquine in some quarters to the dosages and the stage at which it is applied in the treatment of COVID-19 and blamed the controversy surrounding clinical trials of Chloroquine for coronavirus treatment on politics among the key players in the global health sector.
Babalola who won the African Union (AU’s) Kwame Nkrumah Award for Scientific Excellence at the 33rd AU Summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, maintained that the western world uses Chloroquine for treatment of COVID-19 more than African countries.
She argued that most trials failed because almost 90 per cent of the application was done at the severe stage when the virus would have eaten deeper into the patients’ system.
She said, “Chloroquine is actually being used to treat autoimmune diseases. It is used in the western world today more than Africa to treat autoimmune disease. Coronavirus is an autoimmune disease that triggers something and your immunity begins to fight it.
“Study has shown that Chloroquine will only work at the early stage. The virus has about five stages. Chloroquine has a long lifeline as it helps to prevent the virus from key into the body and prevent replication.”
Meanwhile, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has cautioned that complacency has become the biggest threat to the containment of COVID-19, stressing that contact tracing remains of response and digital tools can not replace human capacity for contact tracing.
Director-General of WHO, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, at the media briefing on COVID-19, yesterday, said, “Most countries in Africa are still experiencing an increase in the number of COVID-19 cases, with some reporting cases in new geographic areas, although most countries in the region have less than 1, 000 cases.”
The WHO DG said contact tracing remained an essential element of the chloroquine response, stressing that in some countries, there was already a strong network of health workers for polio, who are now being deployed for COVID-19 cases.
Besides, public health and tobacco control experts are highlighting the need for 1.1 billion smokers and millions of adults who have quit smoking to access appropriately regulated safer nicotine products such as vapes (e-cigarettes), Swedish snus, nicotine pouches and heated tobacco products in what they described as tobacco harm reduction approach.