WHO warns consumers against use of Ivermectin, likely virus surge at Easter, Ramadan

*The World Health Organisation has announced that it is fighting overuse of unproven therapies, especially some of these repurposed drugs without evidence of efficacy in various parts of the world

Isola Moses | ConsumerConnect

As the global health body is fighting likely overuse of unproven therapies, especially some of these repurposed drugs without evidence of efficacy in part of the world, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has issued guidance warning against using the antiparasitic drug Ivermectin to treat or prevent Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease.

It is recalled that the European Medicines Agency (MEA), and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) had previously discouraged the use of the drug for the treatment of COVID-19, agency report said.

Janet Diaz, a top WHO official for Clinical Care Response, told reporters of the WHO recommendation that “this applies to patients with COVID-19 of any disease severity,” adding, it was “based on very low certainty of evidence” that Ivermectin helps.

The WHO official stated: “We are fighting this overuse of unproven therapies – especially some of these repurposed drugs – in various parts of the world without evidence of efficacy.

“There can be more harm than any good.”

The WHO’s review was based on a survey of 16 trials of Ivermectin involving 2,400 people, including those comparing it with Hydroxychloroquine, an older malaria medicine that has been discredited as a COVID-19 treatment.

There were very few placebo-controlled studies of ivermectin.

Bram Rochwerg, an Associate Professor at Canada’s McMaster University and Co-Chair of the WHO panel that reviewed Ivermectin, said more data was needed in order to make informed decisions.

The data available, according to Rochwerg, was sparse and likely based on chance.

He stated: “High quality, trustworthy trials” were still merited.

Some countries have been utilising Ivermectin to combat the deadly Coronavirus, despite the lack of evidence for it as a treatment.

In the meantime, Ahmed al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean, has warned of a possible surge in Coronavirus infections in the Middle East region during the Islamic month of Ramadan and the Easter holidays.

Some Christians will celebrate Easter this weekend, while others, such as Egypt’s Coptic Christians, will celebrate in May this year, report stated.

Ramadan, where observant Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from dawn to dusk, is scheduled to start around mid-April.

Muslims usually celebrate by large social and religious gatherings, such as mass prayers, where mosques are traditionally packed.

Al-Mandhari, therefore, warned that 14 countries in the region had reported a high increase in their daily COVID-19 infections and related-deaths, such as Jordan and Iran.

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