The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) says the World Health Organisation (WHO) has not approved the use of chloroquine for coronavirus treatment.
Chloroquine is an oral artemisinin-based monotherapies (oAMTs) for malaria treatment.
In a message posted on Twitter on Friday, the agency advised people not to engage in self-medication as it could cause them more harm.
“WHO has NOT approved the use of chloroquine for #COVID19 management. Scientists are working hard to confirm the safety of several drugs for this disease. Please DO NOT engage in self-medication. This will cause harm and can lead to death,” the NCDC said.
#FactsNotFear@WHO has NOT approved the use of chloroquine for #COVID19 management. Scientists are working hard to confirm the safety of several drugs for this disease.— NCDC (@NCDCgov) March 20, 2020
Please DO NOT engage in self-medication. This will cause harm and can lead to death.#COVID19Nigeria pic.twitter.com/K6kljq0VtW
Speaking during a briefing on Thursday, Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa, said there is no proof of chloroquine’s effectiveness in treating the disease.
“We are aware of some trials of the use of chloroquine in dealing with some previous coronaviruses, not this virus,” she said.
“We are not aware of any evidence that demonstrates that this is one of the medicines that could be used but we can find out some more information about that.
“There is a number of ongoing trials of other medicines and we are awaiting the outcomes of those observations. But for now, we are not aware of any conclusive evidence to show that chloroquine could be effective in treating this virus.”