Kenya begins testing anti-malarial drugs on COVID-19 patients

After a full morning visiting the different locations to inform about HIV and take blood samples, those are analyses in the laboratory of the clinic. The Ndlela (Mpumalanga, South Africa) HIV clinical trial site is a rural clinic for the prevention and testing of hiv and other infections) in the local population. People are informed about the infection, how to prevent it, and are offered to be tested and treated if detected positive.

Kenyan health officials have announced the experimental use of the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine in tandem with the antibiotic azithromycin to treat COVID-19 in the country.

Director General of the Ministry of Health, Patrick Amoth, said the combination of drugs was being used on a trial-basis to treat a novel coronavirus patient currently being held in the intensive care unit of Aga Khan Hospital in the capital Nairobi.

Amoth stressed to reporters that the drugs were not to be thought of as a proven cure for the virus, but rather as an experimental course of treatment to explore further.

The pairing of drugs garnered widespread attention after US President Donald Trump tweeted about them on March 21,  asserting that “hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, taken together, have a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine,” in an apparent reference to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The drug combination remains an unproven method to treat the virus but one that is continuing to be researched in China, France, Kenya and elsewhere.