by Dare Lawal
Nano Silver, a nutritional supplement manufactured by a US company was sold to the government of Nigeria as a cure for Ebola last week. The federal government then announced that it was placing eight Ebola patients on the drugs.
However, following warnings by the United States as well as the World Health Organisation, light was shone on the fact that Nano Silver is a food supplement which has even been described as a pesticide.
The Nigerian government has now said that despite its announcement that eight people were going to be given the drug, it has decided not to administer it on anyone as the drug failed to get the nod of the National Health Research Committee.
According to the minister of health, Onyebuchi Chukwu, Nano SIlver did not meet the requirements of the National Health Research Ethic code.
“Accordingly, approval of its use has been withheld by the National Health Research Ethics Committee,” he said.
The drug had since last Thursday been made available to the Emergency Operations Centre in Lagos, but had not been administered to any patient because it was awaiting clearance from the National Research Ethics Committee.
Noting that all hope was not lost as other candidate drugs were currently being evaluated by the Treatment Research Group for EVD, the minister said, “As soon as any of the experimental drugs is cleared by the National Health Research Ethics Committee and is made available, we shall include it in the treatment regimen subject to the informed consent of the patient.”
Chukwu also said that reports that Ebola patients were not being given adequate care from government and health workers was untrue.
“The federal government has heard their complaints and I can assure you we are doing everything necessary so that their complaints would be met. It is only natural for them (family and friends) to be anxious and agitated. No one prays to lose a loved one.
“Now that the Lagos State has provided a better isolation unit of a brand new 40-bed ward, it would be more conductive and care and services would be better. The health workers that have come out to volunteer in this crisis are to be commended for their effort. Words cannot emphasise how much effort and energy they have put in the quick recovery of patients as well as monitoring the leads of Ebola crisis. They are really working hard.”