Cgtn.com South Africa
WHO says it suspends clinical trial with hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients - cgtn.com
The World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that a clinical trial of
An image of Hydroxychloroquine, a medicine being tested to fight against Covid-19.(Photo by GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images) The World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that a clinical trial of malaria drug hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 patients came to “a temporary pause” while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board. According to the WHO chief, the medical journal The Lancet has on Friday published an observational study on hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine and its effects on COVID-19 patients that have been hospitalized. The authors of the study reported that among patients receiving the drug, when used alone or with a macrolide, they estimated a higher mortality rate. “The Executive Group of the Solidarity Trial, representing 10 of the participating countries, met on Saturday and has agreed to review a comprehensive analysis and critical appraisal of all evidence available globally,” Tedros told a virtual press conference. The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomized available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug, he said. “The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board. The other arms of the trial are continuing,” Tedros added. WHO initiated the Solidarity Trial, a plan to evaluate the safety and efficacy of four drugs and drug combinations against COVID-19 more than two months ago, which include hydroxychloroquine. According to the WHO, over 400 hospitals in 35 countries are actively recruiting patients and nearly 3,500 patients have been enrolled from 17 countries under the Solidarity Trial. Tedros added that the safety concern over the drug related only to the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine in COVID-19, and “these drugs are accepted as generally safe for use in patients with autoimmune diseases or malaria.” “WHO will provide further updates as we know more,” he said.
WHO warns that malaria fatalities in Africa could double in 2020 - cgtn.com
The number of deaths caused by malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa could double to 769,000 this
More women in sub-Saharan Africa are using bed nets to protect themselves against malaria./UNICEF/Josh Estey The number of deaths caused by malaria in Sub-Saharan Africa could double to 769,000 this year, as efforts to curb the disease are disrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the World Health Organisation warned on Thursday. The region has more than 25,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19, with more than 1,200 deaths, and governments working with partners such as the WHO are focusing on tackling the pandemic. WHO Regional Director for Africa Dr Matshidiso Moeti called on all countries to ensure that essential malaria prevention work continues. A recent analysis has found that if insecticide-treated bed net distribution stops, and case management reduces, malaria deaths in sub-Saharan Africa could double in comparison to 2018, Moeti said at a briefing. This would be the highest number of deaths seen in the region since the year 2000. She pointed to statistics from Africas ebola outbreak showing that more people died of other diseases, including malaria, than from ebola itself, due to lack of access to treatment. Let us not repeat that again with COVID-19, she said. In 2018, there were 213 million malaria cases and 360,000 related deaths in the African region, accounting for over 90% of global cases. The WHO said that if the focus on slowing the spread of the new coronavirus leads to a reduction by three quarters of access to anti-malaria medicines, deaths could double to 769,000. Countries across the region have a critical window of opportunity to minimize disruptions in malaria prevention and treatment and save lives at this stage of the COVID-19 outbreak, the WHO said in a statement. The doubling of the number of deaths represents the worst case scenario, which also assumes the suspension of all distribution of treated mosquito nets due to the pandemic, the WHO said. Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sierra Leone and Chad have all initiated anti-malaria programmes during the pandemic, the WHO said, adding that should serve as a model for other nations on the continent.