Bala Mohammed, the Bauchi State governor, has said he does not regret telling his health officials to treat COVID-19 patients with Chloroquine.
Mr Mohammed said this while responding to the backlash from people who felt such authorizations are exclusively reserved for professional medical personnel.
Mr Mohammed, who was the index case of COVID-19 in Bauchi, told journalists last week that amongst the medications that he used in treating the deadly virus 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 reacted to the governor’s directive by warning 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’s better you take something, rather than sit down and die. We have not recorded any death in Bauchi… That one that died came after the test. And you can see we have plenty patients. And by the grace of God, Allah will heal our patients.
“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.”