Idro says people should not buy dexamethasone and Prednisolone which are one of the drugs on the combo lists of pharmacies as treatment for COVID-19 explaining that the drugs increase one’s risk of developing diabetes and can worsen those already battling the disease.
The resurgence of COVID-19 with daily infections
skyrocketing to a thousand or more cases and gazetted treatment isolation
centers filling up has had the public panic into stocking drugs for either
treatment or prevention.
But experts have warned that the issue of stocking holds a bigger danger to the
Dr. Richard Idro, the President of the Uganda Medical
Association says as a result of the scare many pharmacies around the city have
even formulated lists of medicine combinations (Combos) that one can take from
home once tested positive.
Some of such drugs that have been popularized for treatment
of the viral respiratory disease include zinc, azithromycin, Vitamin C, Dexamethasone,
but doctors say not everyone that tests positive needs any form of treatment.
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For the asymptomatic who comprise over 80% of people testing
positive, doctors say they need to feed well with plenty of fruits and
vegetable, hydrate often with recommendations of up to three liters of fluids
each day, get at least 30 minutes of sun exposure every day and exercise as the
disease will clear on it’s on without having any medicine.
Dr. Idro says people should not buy dexamethasone and Prednisolone
which are one of the drugs on the combo lists of pharmacies as treatment for
COVID-19 explaining that the drugs increase one’s risk of developing diabetes
and can worsen those already battling the disease if taken without doctors’
analysis and recommendation.
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For vitamin C for instance which people continue taking in
error to prevent infection, the Ministry of Health earlier this year
discontinued its use even among admitted COVID-19 patients after their analysis
found it to have disastrous effects on patients.
Dr. Bruce Kirenga, a lung expert who works in the COVID-19
treatment ward at Mulago National Referral Hospital said the drug was very
toxic and yet it wasn’t effective in treating the disease. Many people who had
been using the drug showed up in hospital at the brink of developing kidney
failure because of its continued use.
In addition to the drugs, Dr. Robert Lubega, another doctor
at Mulago reveals that out of desperation individuals are opting to purchase oxygen
cylinders to keep them at home and yet wiring one onto oxygen requires thorough
analysis which should be done in a hospital setting.
However amidst this danger, pharmacies around Kampala continue
making a killing out of the combos. When Uganda Radio Network (URN) visited some of the pharmacies in Wandegeya
smaller packs containing a mixture of these drugs goes for between Shs50,000
and Shs.100,000 and the bigger packs depending on what is contained therein can
go for as much as Shs200,000.
But Dr. Idro says that instead of the public spending on non- prescribed dangerous
drugs, they should instead invest in small gadgets for measuring temperature
and oxygen levels in blood.
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Constant monitoring he says will give one pointers on at
what point they need to involve a health worker or run to the nearest hospital.
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Currently, according to latest Ministry of Health figures
released last evening, 784 people are currently admitted in hospitals around
the country with COVID-19. The majority
of the positive cases are either asymptomatic or mild and are self- treating from