WHO warns against hydroxychloroquine use in COVID-19 prevention

The World Health Organisation (WHO) has advised against the use of hydroxychloroquine in preventing the contraction of Coronavirus. In a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Abuja, a WHO Guideline Development Group (GDG) panel of international experts in the BMJ, noted that resources should be channelled to promising drugs as hydroxychloroquine was no longer a research priority. According to the experts, hydroxychloroquine, which was an anti-inflammatory drug, should not be used to prevent infection in people who do not have COVID-19, The statement reads in part; “Their strong recommendation is based on high certainty evidence from six randomised controlled trials involving over 6,000 participants with and without known exposure to a person with COVID-19 infection.

“High certainty evidence showed that hydroxychloroquine had no meaningful effect on death and admission to hospital, while moderate certainty evidence showed that hydroxychloroquine had no meaningful effect on laboratory confirmed COVID-19 infection and it probably increases the risk of adverse effects.

“As such, the panel considers that this drug is no longer a research priority and that resources should be used to evaluate other more promising drugs to prevent COVID-19. This guideline applied to all individuals who do not have COVID-19, regardless of their exposure to a person with COVID-19 infection. “The panel judged that almost all people would not consider this drug worthwhile, and also decided that factors such as resources, feasibility, acceptability, and equity for countries and healthcare systems were unlikely to alter the recommendation.


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