Kenya is now one of the African nations that have gained approval and clearance to join in the solidarity trial for COVID-19 experimental drugs by the World Health Organization (WHO). Health General Director Dr. Peter Amoth confirmed the news yesterda...
kenya, experimental, covid-19, trials
Kenya is now one of the African nations that have gained approval and clearance to join in the solidarity trial for COVID-19 experimental drugs by the World Health Organization (WHO). Health General Director Dr. Peter Amoth confirmed the news yesterday on May 4th 2020 in a press release. Dr. Amoth said the Ministry of Health will first deploy the drug on a small number of patients before allowing the drug to be used by more patients.
“So, if we are to go for very expensive compounds which we could be able to apply to a very small segment of the population then we will have to make that judgment based on the numbers,” says the Health General Director.
Solidarity trial is a WHO-led program where different countries and scientists sign up to find treatment and vaccine for COVID-19. Remdesivir is the recent experimental antiviral drug approved by WHO, which was produced by a United States pharmaceutical company Gilead, initially as a potential cure for the Ebola virus. The drug is said to shorten the recovery period by 31 percent. The solidarity trial aims to rapidly discover if the drug will show slow disease progression or chances of improving survival.
At the moment, Remdesivir drug is only in liquid form and will only be limited to COVID-19 hospitalized patients having severe symptoms in Kenya. The drug is administered via daily infusions for up to 10 days exclusively to patients who are over 18 years and those that have willingly signed up to be tested on.
As there is currently no proven cure or vaccine for COVID-19, WHO cautions against medical associates and physicians from administering, self-prescribing or recommending Remdesivir drug as COVID-19 treatment. Some of the other African countries participating in this trial include Egypt, Zambia, Nigeria, Tunisia, and South Africa.