UKZN professor says Ivermectin has a positive impact on COVID patients

The University of KwaZulu-Natal's Professor Colleen Aldous said that despite some scientists saying that there was lack of evidence on the drug's efficacy to treat the disease, it did hold clinical benefits.

FILE: A health worker shows a box containing a bottle of Ivermectin, a medicine authorized by the National Institute for Food and Drug Surveillance (INVIMA) to treat patients with mild, asymptomatic or suspicious COVID-19, as part of a study of the Center for Paediatric Infectious Diseases Studies, in Cali, Colombia, on July 21, 2020. Picture: Luis Robayo/ AFP.

CAPE TOWN - The debate over the use of Ivermectin is continuing.

A healthcare researcher said that COVID-19 vaccines were the only way to get us out of the pandemic, but anti-parasitic drug ivermectin can help sick patients.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal's Professor Colleen Aldous said that despite some scientists saying that there was lack of evidence on the drug's efficacy to treat the disease, it did hold clinical benefits.

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Regulatory body, South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (Sahpra), has reiterated that there was insufficient data at present that supported the drug's use in the management and treatment of COVID-19.

It’s being argued that anti-parasitic drug Ivermectin is not a silver bullet but could be part of a solution to ease patients' suffering.

Geneticist and clinical researcher, Professor Colleen Aldous, said that she had scrutinised more than 170 scientific papers, which found that the drug does had a positive impact.

"As far as I'm concerned and from what I'm hearing is happening at my colleagues' clinic where they're using it, it certainly is having an impact. What is lacking is a large randomised control trial that will definitively provide the final proof."

A Gauteng mother said that she's been using the anti-parasitic drug for the past seven months and had not contracted COVID-19.

"I went ot test last week for antibodies and I thought I might have had and not known about it and was asymptomatic but they didn't detect any antibodies - not recently, not in the last six months, not ever."

Sahpra said that its Ivermectin controlled compassionate use programme was still in place as it minimised the risk of illicit and counterfeit products being sold to the unsuspecting public.

It said that any medical practitioner prescribing ivermectin to patients should be in possession of a Section 21 authorisation for specific patients only.

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