By Stephen Ubanna
Barely one month that Madagascar, a counry in East Africa, announced to the world that it had found the herbal drugs for the cure of the Wuhan Town, in the Hebei province of the Asian country of China emerged Corona virus pandemic, popular, COVID 19, the World Health Organisation, WHO, a health agency of the United Nations, has begun a solidarity trial for a Treatment of the disease.
Umaro Emalo, President of Guineas Bisau has presented the native remdy to President Muhammadu Buari, who had promised him that it would go through the normal scientific process before been admistered on Nigerian COVID 19 patients. That much was confirmed by Garba Shehu, senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity.
Recall, since the Chinese Authorities reported to the agency about the outbreak of the disease in the Hebei Province of the country on December 31, 2019, it had stepped up the search to find the drug for th Treatment by working with scientists, researchers and prominent Pharmaceutical Companies across the world .
Many had lost hope that the agency may never make a headway in finding the drugs for the cure of the COVID 19, when the United States, which had been funding the agency in its operations withdrew in protest that it was using its money to support China which had exported the disease toall parts of the world.
This may have informed why China had to step in to support the Organisation by giving an initial financial support of $20 billion and an additional $30 billion, thus, bringing the total amount to $50 billion to boost its scientific and research works in order facilitate the design and development of the drugs and vaccines for the Treatment of the disease, now ravaging the world.
In spite of the fact that China had taken over the funding of the WHO scientific and research works to fill the vacuum left by the North American country of the US, it never stopped making efforts to ensure that there is a cure for the disease. On May 29, 2020, the country was said to have announced an experimental drug which had proven effective in Treating COVID 19 PA 19 but which needed the approval of the WHO for Commercial production and distribution to other countries.
Recall that the US President, Donald Trump, had said that with or without a vaccine ‘’the virus is going to be gone’’. The fallout was the launching of the ‘’Solidarity’, which is an International clinical trial to help find an effective Treatment for COVID 19 which the UN health agency and its partners, particular, the US, European Union, United Kingdom, UK , china and other developed economies had developed.
According to a WHO source, the solidarity is expected to compare four Treatment options against standard care in order to assess their relative effectiveness against the disease. As a prelude to the use of the drugs, the agency was said to have masterminded the enrolling of COVID19, patients in multiple countries as the trial aims to rapidly discover whether any of the drugs could slow the disease progression or improve survival. The agency was said to have made it known to Physicians that ‘’ other drugs could be added in the Treatment of the disease based on emerging evidence’’.
Based on evidence from laboratory , animal and clinical studies , the following Treatment options were said to have been selected: Remdesivir, Lopinavir/Ritonavir,Lopinavir/Ritonavir with Interferon beta-la and Chloroquine or Hydroxycholoroquine.
Remdesivir was an Ebola Treatment drug , which medical experts believe may have some effect in COVID 19 patients. Lopnavir/Ritonavir, according to medical sources were licensed for Tratment of HIV while Interferon beta-la was used for the Treatment of multiple sclerosis. Other drugs on the list of the Solidarity clinical trial are Choloquine and Hydroxycholoroquine which are closely related and used in the Treatment of malaria and rheumatology conditions respectively.
Recent Studies in China and France had proved that there possible benefit of Choloroquine Phosphate against pneumonia which is caused by COVID 19 bu, however, needed confirmation through the randomized trials.
Note that while randomized clinical trials could take years to design and conduct, the pressure the COVID 119, on health systems , across the world, may have forced the WHO , to consider the need for speed and scale in the trial. There are indications that the Solidarity trial will reduce the time by 80 percent.
It was reliable that Lagos and four other states are currently participating in the ongoing WHO Solidarity International Clinical trial for the Treatment for the pandemic in the US. This brings to five states which Boss Mustapha, Chairman, Presidential task Force , PTF, on COVID 19, had said are participating in the clinical trial. This is good good news for Nigeria because of the rising cases of patients in the recent time.
There are indications that the drugs had already been administered on some COVID 19 patients in Lagos and they had recovered but had be warned by officials of the Nigerian center for Disease Control, NCDC, not to give out the deails of the Treatment process to avoid to self medication.
The Solidarity Trial, according to a medical expert provides a simplified procedure that could enable even overloaded hospitals to participate with no paper work required. The Magazine learnt that as at April 21, 2020, over 100 countries were already working together to find effective therapeutics as soon as possible via trial.
The UN health agency was said to have facilitated access to thousands of Treatment courses for the clinical trial through donations from a number of Pharmaceutical manufacturing Companies. This may have informed why the agency is inviting developers and companies to collaborate on ensuring affordability and availability of the treatment options if they prove effective.
At present, no fewer than 5,445 persons were said to have contacted the disease with the discovery of additional 288 cases by the NCDC , ON Saturday, May 16, 2020. Lagos, which had remained the epicenter of the disease in the country , according to the ministry of Health agency had produced much of the COVID 19 patients, which was put at 179.
The world over, 4,661,974 people were said to have been infected with the Coronavirus pandemic since its out-g break in Wuhan Town in Hebei Province of China on December 31, 2020 but 1,777,818, recovered, an indications that 2,574,386, are currently infected. The WHO, records, shows that so far, 309,818 had died of the global pandemic.