Reps seek local drugs for virus treatment, management

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House of Representatives on Tuesday urged the Federal Government to support and encourage the use of our locally developed remedies for the management and treatment of COVID-19 ailments.

The House said this would enable Nigerians to ascertain their efficacy.

Health Minister, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, had told the House that the government was not ruling out the possibility of using local drug for the treatment of the virus.

But he insisted that the efficacy of such local drugs must first be ascertained.

Adopting a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Ossy Prestige, the House mandated its Committee on Health to interface with relevant government agencies to ensure that locally developed remedies for the treatment of COVID-19 are included in the clinical trials by the World Health Organisation (WHO) under its solidarity initiative.

Prestige told the House that even though the WHO had not found any effective cure or vaccine for this virus, it had launched an international clinical trial, called “Solidarity”, to help find an effective cure for this disease.

Read Also: Madagascar’s COVID-19 cure drugs sent to Nigeria
The lawmaker said Madagascar, a small African country, developed a herbal drink for the treatment of the virus.

Prestige said the medicine was developed from a medicinal plant, adding that Madagascar has so far not recorded any death from COVID-19 cases.

Also, the House on Tuesday mandated the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) to immediately evaluate the case of Benue State COVID-19 index case, Mrs. Susan Idoko-Okpe, and take appropriate action.

The Green Chamber directed that she should be allowed to go home instead of being kept in isolation, if she is in good health.

There has been a controversy over the woman’s case.

She reportedly tested positive and has been in isolation for over 45 days even when she disowned the result credited to her.

Unanimously adopting a motion of urgent public importance sponsored by Blessing Onuh, the House also asked the NCDC to carry out quality contact-tracing and encourage symptomatic persons to go for proper clinical evaluation and management with prompt release when they return to their premorbid state.

The House also advised the government, the NCDC and the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 to discourage stigmatisation, inhumane treatment and violation of human rights.

Onuh informed the House that Mrs. Idoko-Okpe (nee Lawani), a 56-year-old woman and an indigene of Benue State with a dual citizenship from the United Kingdom (UK), flew into the country for her mother’s funeral on March 22, 2020.

She reportedly got quarantined for the COVID-19 virus, an assertion backed up by suspected discrepancies in the laboratory results.

The lawmaker regretted that Mrs. Idoko-Okpe “has been in isolation for about 50 days without any form of treatment”.

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