Nigeria on Tuesday said it has not validated the use of hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19, an obvious reaction to the viral video of Nigerian-born Dr Stella Immanuel.
Immanuel, also a Christian preacher, claimed in the video that has gone viral worldwide that she has successfully treated more than 350 COVID-19 patients using hydroxychloroquine, Zinc and Zithromax.
Immanuel first made the claim on April 27 in a Twitter post in which she also showed support for American President Donald Trump’s backing for the use of chloroquine to treat the virus.
But Nigeria’s Ministry of Information and Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, in identical messaging on Twiter, said the use of hydroxychloroquine is “only limited to clinical trials“.
“Some trial drugs show promising results but are yet to be validated for use,” NCDC said on Twitter on Tuesday.
“In Nigeria, use of hydroxychloroquine is ONLY limited to clinical trials.”
Lagos State Government said in April that its hospital treated many patients who suffered chloroquine poisoning in the wake of Trump’s endorsement of the drug in March
Immanuel doubled down on her April claim on Monday when she addressed the press after America’s Frontline Doctors Summit in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C. on Monday, July 27.
Hydroxychloroquine has long been used to treat malaria as well as other conditions such as lupus and arthritis.
It’s used to reduce fever and inflammation, and the hope has been that it can also inhibit the virus that causes COVID-19.
Apart from Trump, Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has also claimed hydroxychloroquine could prevent or treat COVID-19.
“I’m here because I have personally treated over 350 patients with COVID,” Immanuel said in the video.
“Patients that have diabetes, patients that have high blood pressure, patients that have asthma, old people… I think my oldest patient is 92…87-year-olds. And the result has been the same. I put them on hydroxychloroquine, I put them on zinc, I put them on Zithromax, and they’re all well.”
She said she put herself, her staff and other doctors she knew on hydroxychloroquine for prevention of COVID-19.
“We see patients, 10 to 15 COVID patients, every day,” she said.
“We give them breathing treatments. We only wear a surgical mask. None of us has gotten sick. It works.”
FIMC, however, asked Nigeria to take responsibility and avoid self-medication.