Zimbabwe says it has not issued a blanket approval for use of ivermectin to treat covid-19


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The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe has not issued a blanket approval for the use of ivermectin to treat covid-19 but has instead given a qualified nod to health professionals to prescribe, procure and dispense the drug within a strict framework.

In response to media reports that Zimbabwe had approved the use of the ivermectin, an anti-parasitic drug normally used in animals, to treat covid-19, the MCAZ said: “The Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe is aware of media reports suggesting that the Authority had issued a blanket approval for the widespread use of ivermectin human formulations for the prevention and treatment of covid-19.

“Several critical studies are still being undertaken to evaluate ivermectin’s safety and efficacy in treating the covid-19 infection in vivo (in human bodies, as opposed to in vitro, in labs), but there has been no conclusive evidence yet to support its use.

“In an effort to add more options to the list of medicines with potential evidence-based therapeutic value in the prevention and or treatment of covid-19, the Authority sought approval from the Secretary for Health and Child Care to establish a framework that would provide guidance on the use of ivermectin in covid-19, in the form of operational research.

“The authority therefore advises that ivermectin human formulations must only be used in accordance with the developed framework for the use of ivermectin in covid-19.”

Zimbabwe is currently facing a third wave of the coronavirus outbreak which has seen the country recording 8 323 cases and 155 deaths this month.

This is the second worst moth in terms of cases. In January Zimbabwe has 19 521 cases and 854 deaths. The number of cases dropped to 2 701 in February but there were 246 deaths.

Zimbabwe fact-checking organisation, Zimfact puts  the use of ivermectin into perspective:

FACTSHEET: Zimbabwe and ivermectin use for COVID-19

On June 28, 2021, the Medicines Control Authority of Zimbabwe (MCAZ), which regulates the approval and registration of medical drugs in the country, announced it had approved the use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19, as part of what the regulator called “operational research.”

What is ivermectin?

Ivermectin is an anti-parasitic drug developed by Japan’s Kitasato Institute and pharmaceutical multinational Merck & Co in the 1970s. Ivermectin is a broad spectrum drug, meaning it is effective against a wide range of diseases.

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Charles Rukuni
The Insider is a political and business bulletin about Zimbabwe, edited by Charles Rukuni. Founded in 1990, it was a printed 12-page subscription only newsletter until 2003 when Zimbabwe's hyper-inflation made it impossible to continue printing.

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