Written by Siddhartha Pradhan, a grade 9 student
Hydroxychloroquine is a type of medicine that is used to prevent or treat malaria caused by mosquito bites. The drug can also be used to treat arthritis, lupus, and porphyria. However, this drug has assumed a lot of importance recently, with public figures like Donald Trump backing the idea that the drug could be used as a treatment for Coronavirus.
The main supplier of Hydroxychloroquine is India. It is exported to the Philippines, Russia, Slovenia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, UAE, Uzbekistan, Uruguay, Colombia, Algeria, Bahamas, Mauritius, and the UK.
The decision to suspend the physical trials of Hydroxychloroquine came after a study was published in The Lancet medical journal last week. The report suggests that the drug could increase the death rates of COVID 19. Hydroxychloroquine, as we know, is mainly used as a treatment for malaria, but using it can lead to heart irregularities. This is why the World Health Organisation (WHO) made the decision to suspend the trials. India had also warned against the indiscriminate use of the drug.
Who is WHO? and why are they in a position to suspend the trials of Hydroxychloroquine?
WHO, which is the World Health Organization, is a specialized agency of the United Nations. There are 7,000 people working in 150 country offices in six regional offices, with headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
None has yet found a cure for Coronavirus, but people are trying to find a vaccine for the deadly virus. A vaccine for a new virus normally takes a few years or a decade to find. Over 100 people are working to try and find a vaccine for coronavirus.
According to a Hindustan Times article, The Lancet study had a control group of 14,888 critical COVID 19 patients, who were tested with different drugs. 1,868 received chloroquine, 3,783 received chloroquine with a macrolide, 3,016 received hydroxychloroquine, and 6,221 received hydroxychloroquine with a macrolide. The total death rate in the control groups was 9.3%, but the group that took Hydroxychloroquine the death rate was 18.0% which is almost double the average.
In conclusion, governments shouldn’t promote drugs that haven’t been tested properly – it could lead to many more unnecessary deaths or cases.