HomeNewsRelieved doctor feels vindicated on COVID-19 drug

Relieved doctor feels vindicated on COVID-19 drug

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RICHARD MUPONDE

UNDERFIRE MEDICAL doctor Jackie Stone who has been accused by her colleagues in the medical fraternity for reportedly prescribing unorthodox COVID-19 therapy yesterday said she had been vindicated after government indicated it was testing the ivermectin while other doctors have applied for permission to use the drug.

She said medical practitioners should work together to find a solution to the COVID-19 pandemic which has decimated the population, including influential people in business and politics.

“I am simply relieved that it’s over,” Stone said yesterday.

“Some doctors seem to view this as a fight with a win/lose situation. What does that achieve? We have a crisis in Zimbabwe, and the only people who will lose with this sort of (time wasting) behaviour are the patients.

“We as professionals should be meeting across all specialities to share our knowledge and discuss the safety and efficacy profiles of the candidate medications.”

Ivermectin is a veterinary drug that has been administered to COVID-19 patients in other countries such as Australia, UK, US and Argentine.

However, Stone stoked controversy in the medical fraternity after prescribing Ivermectin, Doxycycline and Nano Silver as COVID-19 therapy, reportedly despite lack of clinical evidence that they were safe.

Doctor organisations wrote a complaint about Stone’s behaviour to the Medical and Dental Professional Council of Zimbabwe registrar, Josephine Mwakutuya last week, demanding that her fitness to continue practising in the country should be reviewed.

However, it has since emerged that the Employers Confederation of Zimbabwe (Emcoz) wrote to Vice-President Constantino Chiwenga seeking authorisation of Ivermectin for prevention and treatment of COVID-19 claiming that evidence showed that the veterinary vaccine could reduce the need for hospitalisation of COVID-19 patients and shortens healing time. Government is clinically testing the anti-parasitic drug in a bid to establish its efficacy in fighting COVID-19 pandemic

Stone yesterday said doctors should be united in finding an effective and affordable solution to coronavirus until a safe, effective and affordable vaccine is available.

“The best possible management of the patient involves a combination of three things – the best available evidence, Clinical experience and patient preference and choice. Right now all the evidence points towards ivermectin being very safe and almost certainly effective. The experience of the primary care physicians who have used it is that it is a very safe and effective drug. The patient testimonials speak for themselves. I do not understand the obstruction,” she said.

Stone said she together with some of her medical colleagues have managed to recommend their protocols in Argentina where the drug has been approved for us and it was doing wonders in that country with a number of patients having survived the pandemic. “There’s a Zimbabwean Engineer John Hill staying in Argentina who is friends with one of our nurses and he asked her why we weren’t getting sick. So we told him about Ivermectin and he went off on a mission. His wife has lots of doctors in her family. She is Argentine. I don’t know if the Argentines were already looking at it, but in his region they started using it with great success,” Stone said.

Hill, in an interview from his base in Argentina yesterday confirmed that indeed ivermectin was working in the Latin American country where it has been termed a “wonder drug.”

“Indeed, ivermectin works has been approved in Argentina, it works. One week later or two weeks you will not have a problem with it. You will not contract COVID-19. You have to be patient, if you have the symptoms, you have to take it four times a day continuously, it will work. I recommend it for your family and friends. The issue is that you shouldn’t panic when you get to know that you have the symptoms. I would like to thank Dr Stone and her colleagues for recommending their protocols,” Hill said.

In a letter dated January 24 written to the Health ministry secretary Jasper Chimedza, the College of Primary Care Physicians of Zimbabwe claimed to have successfully used Ivermectin in conjunction with Nano Silver, with the treatment registering good results.

Contacted for comment, one of the medical professors who complained against Stone, Rashida Ferrand said they were still convinced that there was no concrete evidence that the drug works as a COVID-19 remedy. “Our view is that there is insufficient evidence for ivermectin to be recommended,” Ferrand said.

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