The Guild of Medical Directors says there is no scientific proof to back Dr Stella Immanuel, a Nigerian-trained U.S based doctor’s claim of cure for COVID-19 pandemic.
Its President, Prof. Olufemi Babalola, said the viral video of Immanuel had been shared all over the country, and led to many people justifiably asking the question, “What do you think, doctor”?
Babalola said in a statement that the video, where Immanuel claimed cure for COVID-19, was part of a news conference organised by the America’s Frontline Doctors, a group founded by Dr Simone Gold, a board-certified physician and attorney.
According to him, the group came together to disseminate a “massive disinformation campaign” about the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Nigerian-U.S based doctor had in the viral video attested to treating over 350 patients in her clinic in Houston, Texas, with the combination of Hydroxychloroquine (HCQ), Zinc and Zithromax.
Babalola said: “People must understand that there is no scientific evidence, but just her (Stella Immanuel)’s own personal unsubstantiated claims.
“The important point of course, is to note that medical research has subjected HCQ to intense research.
“While some studies suggest that it is effective, others have come to the opposite conclusion.
“It is also true that Senegal, where HCQ is routinely used, has one of the lowest COVID-19 case fatality rates in the world at 0.64% compared to 3.4% in the U.S.
“As we speak, a study is underway in Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Lagos, on its efficacy and safety.
“Subsequently, a meta-analysis of all these studies should be undertaken to pool all the results together, and come up with a summative analysis, which will guide clinicians.”
He said that until then, all anecdotal claims such as the one from Dr Stella Immanuel must be taken with a pinch of salt.
“It should also be noted that HCQ may be a cause of serious complications and even death in some people.
“Other anecdotal claims such as the herbal mixture from Madagascar have subsequently been proven ineffective,” Babalola said.
According to him, the guild, which is owners of private hospitals in Nigeria, are collectively responsible for the management of about 70 per cent of the healthcare delivery.
“A lot of the burden in explaining the problem as related to the video naturally falls on us, therefore, we feel it is pertinent to explain or clarify the issue for Nigerians.
“We must reiterate that Coronavirus is real and the disease is an indiscriminate killer.
“We know from personal experience since it has killed many doctors and nurses all over the country, including our very own Prof. Lovett Lawson.
“This disease is definitely not a joke, and we strongly condemn the politicisation of the disease and the treatments currently being used to fight the pandemic,” Babalola said.
He advised Nigerians to strictly adhere to all medical guidelines through practicing social distancing, wearing of face mask and frequent proper hand hygiene.
“As at today, the whole world is still actively looking for an effective treatment and of course, a vaccine.
“Until then, everyone has a responsibility to remain safe and protect one another through the ways proven to help,” the guild president said.