This is a concern Ghana’s 30 million citizens and even additional close to the entire world may perhaps be inquiring ideal now right after the Wellness Minister Kwaku Agyeman-Manu introduced we are to use hydroxychloroquine in the cure of Covid-19 clients in the place.
Hydroxychloroquine 1st caught my notice at the peak of the coronavirus devastation in China, with doctors reporting its ‘impressive turnout’ in the therapy of sufferers, primarily in Wuhan.
The interval in between President Akufo-Addo’s lockdown announcement and the working day it took impact observed a selection of my good friends mounting a look for for chloroquine to stock, just in scenario. I did way too. I visited a pharmacy at Achimota Mile 7 but was disappointed simply because they did not have chloroquine in stock. The dispenser discovered I was about the 10th individual asking for chloroquine in the several several hours previous my go to.
With a lot more than a million folks around the world contracting coronavirus and an additional 52,000 already dead from the an infection, the world’s scientific group has been at work seeking to decode what will make the Covid-19 so contagious and deadly and what remedy can defeat it.
So what is hydroxychloroquine?
It is an antimalarial drug and like all antimalarial remedies can be dangerous. They are recognised to bring about heart rhythm complications and just cannot be presented to individuals with liver or kidney troubles. The announcement that Ghana is applying it to handle Covid-19 certainly place the Globe Overall health Organisation (WHO) and the Centres for Disease Regulate (CDC) on notify.
In a small study in China, medical practitioners in Renmin Clinic, Wuhan (wherever the pandemic commenced) gave 31 coronavirus individuals hydroxychloroquine for 5 times and taken care of one more 31 with standard remedy. The most recent research was revealed by health care specialists at Wuhan University but has not been reviewed by other scientists or a health care journal. Pneumonia bacterial infections improved in 25 per cent much more clients in the chloroquine team when as opposed with all those who had typical procedure.
1 gentleman in the US died after trying to self-medicate with chloroquine by consuming aquarium cleaner which contained a edition of the chemical.
Hydroxychloroquine continues to be an experimental therapy being trialled close to the earth. So as Ghana commences to count on it in the treatment of Covid-19 patients, what are the hazards? How productive will this be?
I’ve expended a little bit of time understanding the performance and risks affiliated with the administration of hydroxychloroquine on Ghana’s coronavirus sufferers. The health professionals are particularly fired up about the success of the chloroquine medicine on Covid-19 individuals.
‘‘For now, we are giving the procedure largely to the symptomatic and we are viewing final results: rushing up of recovery,” one particular health practitioner informed me.
“And the way the virus is replicating extremely speedily, this mechanism of action of the drug to inhibit this replication action and to minimize the viral load is also supporting to reduce the violence of the condition and to enhance the recovery level.’’
Then he provides: ‘‘So it is serving the objective. The recovery charge of people who arrived in really ill, symptomatic condition, in essential condition are encouraging. And we are as a result owning the conviction the reduction of the viral load is actually with respect to the treatment.’’
But does hydroxychloroquine wholly eliminate the virus from the human method? Nicely, the medical professionals say the drug decreases the viral load.
“When you have a virus or you have an organism which is not acquiring the kind of disorders favourable to replicate, to go through its reproductive stages in order to raise, sooner or later, the host mounts an immune procedure to it,” a single health practitioner dealing with a Covid-19 affected individual explained.
“So this virus is not replicating, it is not obtaining much more violent as it was for the reason that your immune method is having much better.”
In spite of the testimony about the successes of the drug, hydroxychloroquine may well not be excellent for anyone – it can essentially be lethal for some. The medical practitioners say for instance: “One of the cautions we give is that we really do not prescribe it beneath some situations which are very essential when it comes to the medication. We’re incredibly cautious when it will come to that.”
Achievable side results
Itchiness: The itchiness that has lengthy been linked with chloroquine use nonetheless persists, inspite of the various chemical adjustments it has long gone through above the yrs. So the people who traditionally react this way to the drug will keep on to respond similar way besides that medical practitioners will have to draw the equilibrium in between itchiness and the threat of dying from coronavirus. Apart from, there are medications these kinds of as antihistamines that can subdue the itchiness fairly noticeably.
Hypoglycemia: This is the reduction of blood sugar degree of clients under hydroxychloroquine cure. This, hence, would make it perilous for diabetic people who are previously on medicine.
Irregular heartbeat: People with coronary heart ailments this kind of as prolonged QT interval (irregular heartbeat) are ineligible for hydroxychloroquine remedy.
Even with these exemptions, medical practitioners say they however have potent medicines these kinds of as azithromycin to handle these who are unable to be addressed with hydroxychloroquine. This drug is also claimed to be carrying out properly too except that it is not as speedy-performing as hydroxychloroquine.
Medical doctors have a solid warning for people who intend to self-medicate on hydroxychloroquine ward of the coronavirus to immediately banish the imagined.
The drug, they say, is not to be employed as prophylactic (a treatment or a procedure designed and employed to protect against a condition from developing). This signifies it simply cannot reduce anybody from contracting coronavirus.
Fred Smith is the head of the Health Desk at JoyNews.