The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) has stated Dexamethsaone has not been validated for use in the treatment of COVID-19 patients.
The drug, which scientists in the United Kingdom have hailed as a major breakthrough, is a widely used low-dose steroids, found to considerably reduce the risk of dying from COVID-19.
According to preliminary results by researchers from Oxford University, the drug when administered to more than 2,000 severely ill COVID-19 patients, reduced deaths by 35 percent among those who could only breathe with the help of a ventilator and by one-fifth in other patients receiving oxygen only.
It had no direct benefit to COVID-19 patients who did not require the use of a respirator.
The NCDC, in a statement in Abuja, said: “The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) is aware of recent outcomes from a UK-Government funded clinical trial for COVID-19.
“The results support the use of Dexamethsaone as a possible treatment to reduce the risk of death among COVID-19 patients, who require oxygen or mechanical ventilation.
“Please note that the Government of Nigeria has not validated or approved any treatment for COVID-19. In addition, the use of Dexamethasone for COVID-19 treatment has not been validated by WHO.
“We are aware of ongoing clinical trials conducted by scientists in the UK and will work with our sister agencies to evaluate this emerging data on the use of Dexamethasone.
‘We will inform the general public on outcomes following scientific review and validation.”
The drug is already being used to reduce inflammation in a range of other conditions, including arthritis, asthma and some skin conditions.