BY CAMI EZENWA
It is said that when the going gets tough, the tough gets going, and that is what Nigeria appears to be doing at this critical time corona virus holds the world in the jugular.
Our country is responding to the scourge via the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) the agency once headed by the late amazon of a crusader, Prof Dora Akunyili.
Recall how the woman fought cartels responsible for the importation and sale of fake drugs into the country to a logical conclusion before her glorious exit.
The latest development however is that NAFDAC says it has approved for production, pharmaceutical to commence clinical trials necessary to the combating and containing of coronavirus.
That is a great leap given the havoc it is already doing across the nations, and also in the scientific and economic positioning of Nigerian in the comity of nations.
The agency said via a statement signed by its Director General, Prof. Mojisola Adeyeye the approval of the drug for more production to check the menace of coronavirus followed the recommendation by the United States National Agency for Food and Control.
And leading pharmaceutical company, May and Baker would be playing a role in this.
The statement quotes the DG as saying that the trial had become necessary given that coronavirus shared similar symptoms with malaria, which had remained a major threat to life and wellbeing in the country, and indeed the whole of the west coast.
The Eagle investigations shows that May and Baker was already working in line with a directive in the regard.
According to NAFDAC part of its responsibility was to ensure that Nigerian citizens had access to safe and essential medicines.
Aside May and Baker, the NAFDAC urged companies with capacity for chloroquine production to commence moves for necessary approval so as to make the drug available for public use.
“NAFDAC has approved chloroquine as a clinical trial for the treatment of coronavirus, directive has been given to May and Baker (M and B) to manufacture the drug in case it would be needed on emergency in the country”..
Competent sources, had, in the aftermath of the virus, quoted doctors and hospitals as turning to tested antimalarial drugs to treat patients infected with the disease caused by the new coronavirus,.
This was in addition to reworking existing drugs therapies in a race to find effective treatments.
Also, the the President of the United States, Donald Trump, announced on 19 March that chloroquine (hydroxychloroquine/Plaquenil), a drug used to treat malaria and arthritis, had been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to be tested as a treatment for COVID-19.
Should Nigeria put its acts together, it would indeed make its impact in the dire efforts to find a solution to a global health and life risk.