The Bauchi State governor, Bala Mohammed, on Wednesday, said he has no regrets in telling his health officials to treat COVID-19 patients with Chloroquine.
Mr Mohammed was responding to the backlash from a section of Nigerians who felt such authorisations are exclusively reserved for professional medical personnel.
Mr Mohammed, who was the index case of COVID-19 in Bauchi, told journalists last week that chief amongst the medications that got him well were Chloroquine, Zithromax, and Vitamin C.
The governor said he would rather ask medics managing the state’s COVID-19 patients to treat them with chloroquine and Zithromax than watch them die of the disease.
The National Agency for Food Administration and Control (NAFDAC) had last week, in a tacit reaction to the governor’s directive, warned Nigerians not to use any drugs for the treatment of COVID-19 other than what the NCDC approves.
“The agency is concerned about reports on social and other media of drugs or vaccines to cure COVID 19,” NAFDAC’s Director-General, Professor Mojisola Adeyeye said in a statement issued to the media.
The NAFDAC DG added that “the agency has not granted any approval to any products for use as a cure or vaccine against COVID 19.”
Asked if he was worried by the backlash trailing his pronouncement on the treatment of COVID-19, Mr Mohammed said he owed no apology on what he said.
“Pertaining to what I said last week that I was misquoted, I was a COVID-19 patient. And I have been asked, how did I get cured? And I said how I got cured and I recommended what should be done. It was my own recommendation and not that of the state committee.
“I have no apology for saying that I used Chloroquine, Zithromax, and Vitamin-C to get treatment and Allah cured me.
“To me, it is better to take something rather than to sit down and die. And I still maintain that up till now we have not recorded any death case in Bauchi. As you can see, we have 80 patients and by the grace of God, they will all be cured.
“Other countries are using other forms of medication. It is not an issue of Chloroquine alone. It is a common knowledge that COVID-19 has no vaccine or drugs; we are just groping in the dark.
“But still, if you have symptoms of fever you can take chloroquine. If you have the symptom of infection you can still take Zithromax and get well; if you have symptoms of pains you can still take panadol and get well; you don’t even need a doctor for that.
“But the doctors are the ones prescribing this. I didn’t take the Chloroquine on my own, and I am not recommending that people should go and use this without the recommendations of their case managers.
“All I was relieving was my experience.”
The state deputy governor, Baba Tela, who chairs the COVID-19 Committee, said Bauchi currently has 82 active cases being managed in three isolation centres.
Since the index case, he said only six patients got treated and discharged from the centres.