The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has said Dexamethasone, the drug tagged as live saving for COVID-19 patients, has not been approved for use in Nigeria.
The drug, which scientists in the United Kingdom have hailed as a major breakthrough, is a widely used low-dose steroid which has been found to considerably reduce the risk of patients dying from COVID-19.
The drug is part of the world’s biggest trial testing existing treatments to see if they also work for coronavirus.
A major British trial, code-named RECOVERY, has declared the drug the biggest breakthrough.
So far, there is no established cure yet for the virus.
According to Daily Mail, dexamethasone was also shown to save the lives of a fifth of Covid-19 sufferers with moderate illness receiving oxygen.
The results from the RECOVERY trial suggest the steroid can prevent death in one in eight ventilated coronavirus patients and one in 25 on oxygen.
Dexamethasone, which is given either via an injection or as a once-a-day tablet, becomes the first drug proven to treat the incurable viral disease, the Mail said.
The NCDC in a series of Tweets yesterday, said it is aware of the drug, however the drug has not yet been approved for use in Nigeria.
“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is aware of recent outcomes from a UK-Government funded clinical trial for COVID-19. The results support the use of Dexamethasone as a possible treatment to reduce the risk of death among COVID-19 patients, who require oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
Please note that the Government of Nigeria has not validated or approved any treatment for COVID-19. In addition, the use of Dexamethasone for COVID-19 treatment has not been validated by WHO.
We are aware of ongoing clinical trials conducted by scientists in the UK and will work with our sister agencies to evaluate this emerging data on the use of Dexamethasone. We will inform the general public on outcomes following scientific review and validation.”