Coronavirus: Nigerians hospitalised over chloroquine poisoning

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Some Nigerians have been hospitalised for chloroquine poisoning after resorting to self-medication based on the declaration by US president, Donald Trump, that chloroquine can be used to treat persons infected with coronavirus.

About 20 Nigerians who reside in Lagos are currently hospitalised in various hospitals in the state after taking overdose of the anti-malarial drug, Leadership reports.

A doctor disclosed that people who had not tested positive to the coronavirus are taking chloroquine based on the unconfirmed rumour that the drug can cure COVID-19

The newspaper stated one of the cases includes a family of five who were hospitalised in the intensive care unit of a private hospital as a result of chloroquine poisoning.

A doctor in the hospital who does not want to be named, disclosed that some people were rushed to the hospital on an emergency after taking chloroquine without prescription.

He said people who have not tested positive to the coronavirus were taking the anti-malaria medication based on unconfirmed rumour that chloroquine can cure COVID-19.

The Lagos state government also confirmed the development when the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Gboyega Akosile, cited comments by the senior special assistant on health, Dr Oreoluwa Finnih, that some hospitals in the state were now treating patients who took too many quantities of chloroquine, leading to poisoning.

Meanwhile, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has admonished Nigerians on the use of chloroquine, a pill famous for the cure of malaria, to treat the dreaded disease called coronavirus.

On its official Twitter page on Friday, March 20, NCDC told Nigerians that the use of the medicine is subject to the approval of the World Health Organisation (WHO).

The agency said that for now, the global health body is yet to give its opinion on chloroquine as a means to eradicate the global pandemic.

Dr. Osagie Ehanire, Health Minister

It added that scientists are currently “working hard to confirm the safety of several drugs for this disease.”

In another report, amid the spread of the coronavirus and the diligent search for treatments and cure, the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) on Friday, March 20, announced the approval of chloroquine production for clinical trials.

According to Channels TV, Mojisola Adeyeye, head of NAFDAC, disclosed this at the agency’s headquarters in Lagos state.

Nonetheless, Adeyeye stated it clearly that chloroquine is not being approved by NAFDAC as a treatment of the deadly virus but for clinical trials to find a treatment for COVID-19.

While calling on experts and researchers that are interested in doing clinical trials, Adeyeye explained that only one company has been asked to make a batch of chloroquine for this purpose.

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