I can make a difference
17 June 2021
Call to action: Utilise available pharmaceutical interventions for COVID-19
The civil rights organisation AfriForum and the I can make a difference group of doctors today sent an urgent letter to the Gauteng premier’s advisory committee on COVID-19 urging them not to deny patients and citizens effective medicine for prophylaxis and treatment of COVID-19 and to take the necessary steps to recommend, promote and ensure prevention and effective early treatment of COVID-19 through the use of ivermectin (in combination with other substances as required) and by ensuring its availability.
This comes after a member of the committee were quoted as saying that non-pharmaceutical interventions are the only option available to citizens and healthcare workers whilst the third wave of COVID-19 infections is raging in the province. The organisations referenced eleven peer-reviewed articles that confirm the positive role ivermectin, in combination with other medicines, plays in the prevention and treatment of COVID-19.
The referenced literature clearly indicates that pharmaceutical intervention for prophylaxis and early treatment of COVID-19 is in fact currently available and non-pharmaceutical interventions are not the only options available.
“It is very concerning that so far into the pandemic and with so much more data available showing efficacy of ivermectin that the public of South Africa is being misled. I urge the MEC to take this matter seriously especially with the current Gauteng mortality rate. We have options – don’t take hope away from the people,” says doctor Naseeba Kathrada, founder of the I can make a difference group of doctors.
“There is no reason not to start using a well-known, safe, cost-efficient medication that can possibly reduce the risk of death by 68% and the risk of getting infected by 85%. Denying this treatment will be tantamount to complicity in doing harm to citizens in an hour of crisis,” says Barend Uys, Head of Research at AfriForum.
The medical evidence confirms that repurposed medicines have an essential role to play in defeating COVID-19 through prophylaxis and early treatment.
Text of letter:
Dr Naseeba Kathrada
I can make a difference
Prof. B. Mellado
Member of Gauteng Premier’s Advisory Committee on COVID-19 School of Physics
University of the Witwatersrand 1 Jan Smuts Avenue BRAAMFONTEIN
1. Dr M. Kawonga, Chairperson, Gauteng Premier’s Advisory Committee on COVID-19
2. Prof. F. Venter, Deputy Executive Director of Wits RHI
3. Dr N. Mokgethi, Gauteng MEC for Health
4. Dr A. Coetzee, Chairperson, SAMA
Dear Prof. Mellado
COVID-19: PHARMACEUTICAL INTERVENTION IS AVAILABLE
AfriForum is a non-profit civil rights organisation with more than 285 000 members and acts in the interest of these members, their families and South African citizens in general. I can make a difference is a group of doctors and healthcare workers who are taking action to ensure access to ivermectin as part of the fight against COVID- 19.
You were quoted in a Netwerk24 article about the third wave of COVID-19 infections in Gauteng as saying “all we have now is the non-pharmaceutical interventions”.
However, we would like to draw your attention to the following peer-reviewed literature (click on the article’s heading to read it online):
4. Role of ivermectin in the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection among healthcare workers in India: A matched case-control study
As is clear from this literature, pharmaceutical intervention for prophylaxis and early treatment of COVID-19 is in fact available. Therefore, non-pharmaceutical interventions are not the only options available. The literature clearly indicates that ivermectin has an important role to play in our fight against COVID-19.
According to the recommendation by the British Ivermectin Recommendation Development Group –
1. The evidence from meta-analyses shows that ivermectin treatment may reduce the risk of death among people with COVID-19 by an average of 68%; and
2. With regard to prophylaxis among those with high exposure, the evidence shows that prevention with ivermectin may reduce the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection by an average of 86%.
It is time to heed the words of the Zimbabwean Ministry of Health and Child Care as stated in their letter to the Medicine Control Authority of Zimbabwe of 26 January 2021:
In these difficult times of Covid-19 treatment, we have to be careful to protect the patients as well as not deny them effective treatment regimes.
We urge you and the other members of the Gauteng Premier’s Advisory Committee on COVID-19 not to deny patients and South African citizens effective medicine for prophylaxis and treatment. We also urge you and the Committee to take the necessary steps to recommend, promote and ensure prevention and effective early treatment of COVID-19 through the use of ivermectin (in combination with other substances as required) and by ensuring its availability.
There is no reason not to start using a well-known, safe, cost-efficient medication that can possibly reduce the risk of death by 68% and reduce the risk of getting infected by 85%. Denying this treatment will be tantamount to complicity in doing harm to citizens in an hour of crisis.
Your urgent response to this letter will be appreciated. Yours sincerely
Barend P. Uys Dr Naseeba Kathrada
Head: Research Founder
AfriForum I can make a difference
Issued by AfriForum, 17 June 2021