Doctors in Zimbabwe have formally appealed to the government for permission to use Ivermectin to treat Covid-19 patients, asserting the drug is part of a combination that has proved to be “a game-changer” on the ground.
The College of Primary Care Physicians of Zimbabwe (CPCPZ) said Ivermectin, used to treat many types of parasite infestations in animals, and Nanosilver, used for antibacterial and antifungal purposes in water treatment, have shown positive results in the past five months.
Despite being a 40-year-old drug, Ivermectin is not registered in Zimbabwe. Doctors complete “section 75” forms every time they use it. The forms are for special exemption to use unregistered medicines.
In a letter addressed to the ministry of health and child care secretary, Jasper Chimedza, the CPCPZ said they feel comfortable using Ivermectin for Covid-19 patients.
“We feel comfortable using this drug, which has been around for 40 years. It is on the World Health Organisation essential drugs list and has an excellent safety profile.
“Since August 2020 we have adopted the use of both Ivermectin and Nanosilver solution and have found this combination to be a game-changer in terms of management of our patients,” the doctors said in the letter.
Appearing before the parliamentary portfolio committee on health, acting health secretary Robert Mudyiradima said widespread use of the drug would be informed by clinical trials.
“Its widespread use is limited until clinical trials under way to prove its efficacy in treating Covid-19 patients are proven,” he said.
“Ivermectin is being allowed into the country for individual applications and these are then monitored to see how it is performing. All treatments that are undergoing research to see how they perform we have not really stopped in controlled trials.”