The World Health Organization has welcomed the initial clinical trial results from the United Kingdom that show that a cortico-steroid, ie dexa-methasone, can be lifesaving for patients who are critically ill.
Reacting to the development, South Africa said it was “considering” treating seriously ill Covid-19 patients with dexamethasone. Its ministerial advisory committee on Covid-19 said administering the steriod intravenously for 10 days may be considered for Covid-19 patients who are on ventilator support.
In Kenya, where Covid-19 infections are surging, public health director Patrick Amoth says dexamethasone has been used for “supportive management of Covid-19” in the country,and already included in Kenya Essential Medicines List 2019.
But Nigeria said it will wait for the World Health Organization to clear the drug before starting its trials. In a statement on Twitter, the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) said the government had not validated trials of dexamethasone.
Doctors however warned patients against self-medicating using dexamethasone, saying the drug should not be used in mild Covid-19 cases., as the drug might weaken the immune system and make one more susceptible to getting a severe form of the disease.