By Mordecai brahim

I have continued to wonder and ask myself why WHO, the US CDC (Centre for Disease Control) and our own NCDC (Nigeria Centre for Disease Control) has continued to warn the world at large and we in Nigeria and that it is not advisable to use Hydroxychloroquine in treating COVID-19 because of its alleged side effects whereas, there are many victims of this same COVID-19 that said they were treated with the same Hydroxychloroquine alongside other drugs.

In Northeast Nigeria, Governor Bala Muhammad of Bauchi State is known to have tested positive to COVID-19. He went into isolation and according to his public confession on a national television; he was treated only with Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin C, Zinc, etal. After him we also heard the public declaration of High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, PhD., again on a national television and that was followed by the public declaration of a medical doctor, Doyin Okupe. Both High Chief Dokpesi and Dr. Okupe told us that during their isolation, they were treated with Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin C, Zinc and good food.

To crown it all, the former Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, Professor Temitope Alonge, on Monday, this week revealed the various drugs and others used to treat corona virus patients in Oyo State. Professor Alonge who is also the Coordinator of the State Isolation Centres, disclosed this at the Government House, Ibadan, during a press briefing by the state governor, Mr Seyi Makinde.

Alonge said patients at the Infectious Diseases Centre, Olodo, Ibadan, were treated with doses of Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin C, Zinc and good food. The professor said, “At the treatment centre at Olodo, on admission, the patients who are predominantly adults has a three-day course of Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine twice a day, we then complement this with Vitamin C and supplement Zinc twice a day. This is in addition to the excellent nutrition that they get all the time…”

In a related development, though he is not a medical doctor or a proven scientist, yet I strongly believe he is not far from the truth because I know that he is well informed, especially because of the world class professionals around him. I am talking about President Donald Trump who has maintained and insisted that Hydroxychloroquine can be used to treat COVID-19 though he has continued to receive bashing particularly from CNN.

I am confused and I keep asking myself why the continued refusal by WHO and our own NCDC to agree that Hydroxychloroquine and other drugs listed above are efficacious enough to treat COVID-19 when there are in Nigeria at least, enough evidences (i.e. persons who were declared by our own NCDC to have tested positive to COVID-19) to prove that these drugs can serve in the interim until the “final solution or cure” for COVID-19 is gotten.

They keep telling us that Hydroxychloroquine has not been scientifically proven for treating COVID-19, yet we have many COVID-19 former patients who have been healed through the use of Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin C, Zinc and good food.

I am compelled to believe that NCDC lied to Nigerians that Governor Bala Muhammad, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Dr. Doyin Okupe and all the patients in Oyo State Isolation Centres tested positive to COVID-19. If these people truly tested positive to COVID-19 as announced by NCDC and they want us to believe since the former victims’ samples were sent to the NCDC for scientific analysis, verification and validation and these former victims later told us emphatically that they were treated with Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin C, Zinc and good food, then somebody somewhere; probably in NCDC or WHO is trying to hide something from the world. Probably they are doing so in pursuit of something personal and for reasons not far from greed and personal benefits.

On the other hand, if WHO and NCDC are correct that these drugs do not cure COVID-19 because they have not been scientifically proven, it simply follows that Governor Bala Muhammad, High Chief Raymond Dokpesi, Dr. Doyin Okupe and Professor Temitope Alonge are lying or have gone senile.

I strongly believe that if our own Presidential Task Force members on COVID-19 and the NCDC had in the genuine interest of the survival of all the victims of COVID-19 had agreed to permit doctors to administer Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin C, Zinc and good food on all those that died of the virus, we probably would have saved many precious lives – the number of deaths from the virus could have been drastically reduced.

WHO and NCDC I would dare say, have had journalists as partners in crime against humanity. I said we are partners in crime against humanity because we have failed to be proactive, pragmatic and thoroughly investigative in our reportage of the corona virus pandemic: How many of us have carried out independent investigations to ascertain why WHO and NCDC have continued to disagree with claims at least, in Nigerian that Azithromycin, Hydroxychloroquine, Vitamin C, and Zinc can and have been healing or curing COVID-19 victims?

Have journalists close to the Director-General of WHO, Dr, Tedros Adhanom or the DG NCDC persistently questioned them to explain why they are unyielding against the claims that Hydroxychloroquine and others are efficacious in treating COVID-19 victims? In the course of our interviews with them, do we not have ways we can make them see their folly in contending against these drugs and consequently make them understand that their game is up?

Is it not obvious that WHO and NCDC’s refusal to temporarily allow the usage of Hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19 victims while effectively managing its application on the patients’ amounts to a great disservice to humanity? How many journalists took the risks and pains to visit the isolation centres where Governor Muhammad, High Chief Dokpesi, Dr. Okupe and all the patients in Oyo State Isolation Centres who were allegedly treated with Hydroxychloroquine and others to ascertain these claims?

Had journalists visited the isolations centres above, WHO and NCDC would have been silenced forever. Journalists would have helped to further establish these claims by Gov Bala Muhammad, High Chief Dokpesi, Dr. Okupe and Professor Temitope Alonge or otherwise and assist the nation after all, as members of the fourth estate of the realm, we hold these people accountable to the people.

Journalists the world over and particularly in Nigeria must therefore rise to their professional responsibility of rendering unlimited service to humanity and without self-censoring or for economic patronage.

Mordecai Sunday Ibrahim is a journalist and public affairs commentator. He writes from Kaduna.

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