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Tuesday March 24, 2020 - Kenyan medics have raised an alarm after a worrying spike in demand for two drugs that have been touted as a treatment for COVID-19.
The two drugs, chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin are sold only on a prescription basis but citizens have managed to bypass this and access the drugs.
The surge in demand can be attributed to misleading information from US President Donald Trump's White House address on Friday, March 20th claiming that the drugs had shown positive results in treating the COVID-19 virus.
"It's shown very encouraging -- very, very encouraging early results.”
“And we're going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.”
“And they did it -- they took it down from many, many months... So we're going to be able to make that drug available by prescription or states," stated Trump.
But Dr. Daniella Munene, the CEO of the Pharmaceutical Society of Kenya (PSK), warned Kenyans against self-medication on these drugs.
“Without the input of a healthcare professional, you are exposed to various risks from these medicines such as weakened immunity, thus increasing your risk of severe COVID-19 infection,” she explained.
The doctor elaborated that the use of these drugs without an expert opinion was dangerous.
This was due to the fact that their effects varied depending on factors such as gender, age or pre-existing medical conditions.
All these are considered when doctors prescribe the drug.
A man in Arizona, USA, is reported to have died after taking Trump’s advice and taking chloroquine to treat COVID-19.
His wife, who also self-medicated on the drug, is still under critical care.
The Kenyan DAILY POST