On the surface, this appears not to be just another social media post. Does it help the NCDC and other agencies working on containing COVID in Nigeria? Emeka Orjih, the writer has included his telephone number, thereby making it easier for the authorities and others to explore his claims by contacting him.
Four days ago, the largest pharmaceutical company in Germany, Bayer, donated 3 million doses of chloroquine to the US government to aid the fight against COVID-19.
Not to be outdone, Novartis, the 3rd largest pharmaceutical company on earth, donated 130 million doses of hydroxychloroquine.
Israel followed suit, with its largest pharmaceutical company, Teva, donating 16 million doses of hydroxychloroquine.
The giant pharma, Mylan, quickly reopened its closed West Virginia factory to produce only hydroxychloroquine, with a promise to deliver the first 50 million doses in a few weeks.
All of this happening in a space of 72 hours. What’s really happening?
Donald Trump gave us an indication when speaking a few days ago about his plans to manage the coronavirus crisis in the US. He effused that chloroquine is an “amazing amazing drug… one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.” He added that the U.S. is planning to make the malaria drug available by prescription “almost immediately.”
But because chloroquine isn’t FDA-approved to treat COVID-19 yet, America’s FDA had to step in to clarify. FDA chief Stephen Hahn stressed that they need to “run clinical trials…to collect data” to get the “right drug” to the “right patient” at the “right dosage” at the “right time.”
Instructively though, after making this statement, same FDA went into meetings with America’s pharmaceutical companies to find ways to ramp up chloroquine production, while New York Governor Andrew Cuomo quickly ordered 750,000 doses of chloroquine and 70,000 doses of hydroxychloroquine. He plans to start massively using the drugs to treat covid-19 patients in Americas hardest hit state, New York, today, Tuesday 24 March 2020.
Governor Cuomo may have come late to the party though. Experiencing a surge of covid-19 patients, Montefiore Medical Center in New York already started deploying chloroquine across board. “All of our (covid-19) patients get put on chloroquine,” says Liise-anne Pirofski, chief of infectious diseases at Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Montefiore. “Everybody gets that (chloroquine), unless they have some contraindication”
These folks must know something we all don’t know, no?
Like you, I am scared about the potential deadly effects of the coronavirus and covid-19. I got even more scared when people I personally know – friends in Nigeria – started contracting this dreaded covid-19. My situation is particularly made worse by living in a country with close to a non-existent healthcare system. To find a way to live through this, I pored through many hundreds of pages of new scientific research conducted in the past few weeks by scientists and medical personnel in successful frontline countries like China, France and Germany. Lots of the material was boring and difficult to read (being that I hold a degree in Biochemistry, I’m kinda used to this kinda boring stuff) .
I garnered a lot of critical information which I will attempt to summarize below in simple non-scientific English. My hope is that we can get ahead of our sick healthcare system in Nigeria and help save ourselves and our loved ones.
- Chloroquine and Hydroxychloroquine have successfully been applied in China, France and Germany for the treatment (yes, treatment) of covid-19. (Incidentally, chloroquine was created in 1934 by Germans in Germany. And Germany, along with China and France, have been 3 of the most successful countries in handling covid-19)
- This chloroquine/hydroxychloroquine breakthrough has not received the publicity it deserves because they are still considered experimental drugs that have not been proven clinically to treat covid-19…..even though the anecdoctal evidence is overwhelming.
- Hydroxychloroquine, created in 1946, is simply the hydroxylated version of Chloroquine. Both drugs are 4-amino quinoline compounds with similar mechanisms of action, clinical indications and side effects. The only practical difference is that hydroxychloroquine is less toxic than chloroquine and thus can be taken in higher doses and for longer periods with less potential for poisoning.
- Both drugs have been used on thousands of covid-19 patients in China, France and Germany with very successful outcomes. China, the epicenter of covid-19 recorded circa 3,200 deaths so far. What has not been publicized is that China recorded over 73,100 recoveries – people that were positive for covid-19 but fully recovered. The major treatment that led to those 73,100 recoveries was chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine.
- The recommended *maximum* dosage for the treatment of covid-19 with chloroquine is 500mg twice daily for 10 days. Because chloroquine is poisonous, It can turn deadly if this maximum dosage is exceeded. It should NOT be exceeded.
- This chloroquine treatment for covid-19 was found to be more effective when combined with the antibiotic azithromycin. Recommended maximum dosage for azithromycin is 500mg on the first day and 250mg a day for the next 4 days.
- Be sure to include an anti histamine (like loratidine or piriton) before taking chloroquine if you are allergic to the drug
- While self medication is not optimal, we are in dire times that need quick action and quick results, else life could become death. Chloroquine/Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin are drugs that are common and that many have taken in the past for malaria and bacterial infections respectively. Nigeria’s healthcare system is already overwhelmed. And this pandemic just got started. Self medicating on these drugs now may be the difference between life and death. If you choose to do this, ensure that you DO NOT for any reason exceed the maximum dosage as this could also easily lead to death. Chloroquine particularly is poisonous and should be handled with great care. Again, *maximum dosage* is, for Chloroquine: 500mg 2 times a day for 10days. While for azithromycin it is 500mg on the first day and 250mg for the next 4 days.
- There is no clinical evidence that these drugs could be used as prophylaxis for covid-19. But if it can treat, it probably can prevent.
- Finally, stay safe. Wash your hands regularly. Avoid touching your face. Practice social distancing. And heed all that wholesome advice from NCDC and WHO.
I hope this helps.
I still have loads of technical information and data that I have held back to try make this readable and understandable for most people. If you would like to ask additional questions, you can reach me on 08109903332 (WhatsApp ONLY please)