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Community pharmacists recommend measures to slow down COVID-19 progression

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Pharmacists under the umbrella of the Association of Community Pharmacists of Nigeria (ACPN) have cautioned Nigerians against indiscriminate and excessive consumption of chloroquine and similar drugs in the quest to obviously prevent the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

The ACPN also said they have obtained the authorisation of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC) for massive central production of affordable hand sanitizers from local manufacturers even as they recommended measures to slow down progression and activation to a full blown disease manifestation.

National Chairman, ACPN, Samuel Adekola, told journalists these affordable hand sanitisers are now available at reasonable prices at community and hospital pharmacies manned by pharmacists across the length and breadth of Nigeria, to clients who need it to maintain good hygienic standards at all times.

On the indiscriminate use of chloroquine, Adekola said at both the global and national levels, bodies like the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and NAFDAC have only approved the use of chloroquine in the clinical trials of the management/treatment of COVID-19.

He said pharmacists have observed an unprecedented demand for chloroquine since the declaration of a prominent world leader, who is certainly not an expert in this competence driven endeavour.

Adekola said the ACPN has mandated its members to stock all essential drugs which will be needed to manage the current public health emergency while it lasts, but advises all potential consumers who will procure chloroquine to seek the professional guidance and counsel of registered pharmacists so that appropriate doses can be dispensed with necessary precautionary measures including possible side effects, adverse reactions and other dosage regimen details which will be communicated professionally.

The pharmacist said the coronavirus obstructs the respiratory pathway by producing mucous that blocks the airways and lungs and treatment, therefore, must focus on unblocking the airways and lungs. He said the blocking of the airways and lungs occurs within a number of days so there are some recommended measures to slow down the progression and activation to a full-blown disease manifestation.

Some of these measures recommended by the ACPN include:
*Drinking a lot of liquid preferably warm water.
*Hot soups in a variety of the local presentations are desirable.
*Administering warm water every 20 minutes moistens the mouth as well as washes away any virus in the mouth. The insignificant amount that may get into the gastrointestinal tract (GIT or gut) can be taken care of by stomach acid secretions thus preventing the virus from getting into the lungs.
*Employing gargles with warm water, vinegar, lemon water and oral antiseptics everyday reduces the chances of the virus from getting to the lungs.
*The virus attaches to the hair or cloth where it survives for many hours. Most detergents, which foams will kill the virus and it is therefore necessary to wash your body and clothes after every outing this season.
*If you cannot wash your clothes everyday for whatsoever reasons, do spread the clothes in direct sunlight, which kills the virus.
*Avoid touching handrails, door handles and other metal surfaces because the virus can last for up to nine hours on such hard surfaces.
*Avoid smoking especially in this season of emergencies.
*You need to regularly wash your hands with soap that foams even if you cannot afford a hand sanitizer. An interval of at least 30 minutes is suggested in-between washing hands.
*Eat fruits and vegetables. This will increase natural Vitamin C levels as well as increase Zinc intake. These ingredients are salient to boost natural immunity against the virus.
*Animals do not spread the virus. It is largely a human-to-human contact that facilitates its spread. All tendencies of social distancing currently being preached must be observed.
*Avoid the common flu and reduce the eating and drinking of cold foods and fluids.
*If you feel any pain or sensation in your throat, attack it with conventional method and seek further counsel in your regular community pharmacy or other healthcare providers.

Adekola assured members of the public that “community Pharmacists will continue to remain your invaluable ally all in the quest to preserve good health, wellness and vitality for all generations of Nigerians.”


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