South African Expert Faults Use of Ivermectin For COVID-19 Treatment


Says amount needed to kill COVID-19 is toxic to human  

South African clinical infectious diseases epidemiologist, Abdool Karim has faulted claims that Ivermectin could be used in COVID-19 treatment. According to him, the amount of Ivermectin needed to kill COVID-19 is toxic to humans.

Prof. Karim, the Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research) at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, who is widely recognised for his research contributions in HIV prevention and treatment, faulted research claims to this effect saying available evidence on Ivermectin in this regard is flimsy and that there is no compelling case for it to be used in the fight against Covid-19.

In a report monitored on South Africa’s Jacaranda FM, the Professor of Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University said said research on whether Ivermectin can cure Covid-19 was currently flawed due to the small sample size and a lack of clear recommended dosages.

Ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medicine that is being studied across the globe as a possible agent against Covid-19 is currently registered for veterinary use only in  South Africa, with a few exceptions of external use on humans.

“The studies are of really poor quality. When you look at the scientic evidence, there’s no compelling case for this. The doctor, Dr Andrew Hill, who did the overall analysis also said the evidence isn’t sufficiently robust to recommend its use,” Prof Karim said.

He said, “It must be clearly stated that ivermectin does not kill the virus at dosages humans can tolerate. The amount of drug needed to kill the virus is toxic to humans. Whatever it is doing, is not killing the virus.”

Prof Karim who wondered why ivermectin was chosen, warned that it is irresponsible to tell people to take the drug.

Late last year, the South Africa Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) prohibited the drug for human consumption after it was promoted on several social media platforms as having “cured” people of Covid19.

Speaking on a webinar hosted by Project ECHO and the National Health Laboratory Service, Prof Ian

Sanne, the director of Right to Care in South Africa, said, “I don’t understand how ivermectin would work because it would require doses a hundredfold the dose in the studies. Also, where does it fit in the cascade of treatment?”

South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) had, on Wednesday announced that it had authorised a limited “compassionate and controlled access programme” for ivermectin to be used to treat COVID-19.

The decision came after many doctors called for it, amid call by SAHPRA that better data was needed to establish safety, doses and efficacy.

The authority said it will unveil the access protocols for the drug in the coming days.

“This does not mean that our position changes around the lack of availability of scientific data, but we had to, as a regulator have very in-depth discussions around the context which we find ourselves with the pandemic, with limited options,” SAHPRA CEO, Dr Boitumelo Semete-Makokotlela, said.




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