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Call to action: Utilise available pharmaceutical interventions for COVID-19 

The civil rights organisation AfriForum and the I can make a difference group of doctors today sent an urgent letter to the Gauteng premier’s advisory committee on COVID-19 urging them not to deny patients and citizens effective medicine for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 and to take the necessary steps to recommend, promote and ensure prevention and effective early treatment of COVID-19 through the use of ivermectin (in combination with other substances as required) and by ensuring its availability.

This comes after a member of the committee were quoted as saying that non-pharmaceutical interventions are the only option available to citizens and healthcare workers whilst the third wave of COVID-19 infections is raging in the province. The organisations referenced eleven peer-reviewed articles that confirm the positive role ivermectin, in combination with other medicines, plays in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19. 

The referenced literature clearly indicates that pharmaceutical intervention for prophylaxis and early treatment of COVID-19 is in fact currently available and non-pharmaceutical interventions are not the only options available. 

“It is very concerning that so far into the pandemic and with so much more data available showing efficacy of ivermectin that the public of South Africa is being misled. I urge the MEC to take this matter seriously especially with the current Gauteng mortality rate. We have options – don’t take hope away from the people,” says doctor Naseeba Kathrada, founder of the I can make a difference group of doctors.

“There is no reason not to start using a well-known, safe, cost-efficient medication that can possibly reduce the risk of death by 68% and the risk of getting infected by 85%. Denying this treatment will be tantamount to complicity in doing harm to citizens in an hour of crisis,” says Barend Uys, Head of Research at AfriForum. 

The medical evidence confirms that repurposed medicines have an essential role to play in defeating COVID-19 through prophylaxis and early treatment. 

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