Shocking details have emerged on how Kenyan doctors have been using drugs meant for head lice to treat patients who have been infected with Covid-19. Ivermectin had already been declared unfit for human consumption by a national pharmaceutical regulator.
An investigation done by Nation Africa in health facilities in the country has shown that Kenyan's major cities such as Nairobi, Kisumu and Mombasa have been using the drug in totality. It also reports that the drug goes for not more than Sh 500 per tab, however, it may be cheaper in the rural areas.
“It is being sold at between Sh100 and Sh500 per tab in the pharmacies while it may be cheaper in vet pharmacies in rural areas, but I would assume private hospitals would charge higher,” said Dr Ahmed Kalebi, a consultant pathologist in Nairobi.
In one of the facilities in Nairobi visited by the investigative journalist, customer care at a private hospital said the drug was only administered to patients admitted under the advice of a consultant.
Ivermectin is used to treat head lice infestations that occur frequently in children aged three to 11 years as well as other parasites. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) says that an overdose of the drug may cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, seizures, coma and even death.
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