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Ghana to begin use of Dexamethasone in treatment of COVID-19 patients

A deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Bernard Oko-Boye says Ghana will begin the use of Dexamethasone in the fight against COVID-19.

The drug which has proven effective in the recovery of COVID-19 patients is part of the world’s biggest trial testing treatments to test the efficacy against the novel coronavirus.

The research conducted by scientists in the UK revealed that the drug reduces the risk of death by a third for patients on ventilators. For those on oxygen, it was proven to reduce the number of deaths by a fifth.

In the trial, led by a team from Oxford University, some 2,000 hospital patients were given dexamethasone and compared with more than 4,000 who were not.

For patients on ventilators, it cut the risk of death from 40% to 28%. For patients needing oxygen, it cut the risk of death from 25% to 20%.

Speaking in an interview with ABC News on the sidelines of a donation exercise at the Ridge hospital in Accra on Wednesday, June 17, 2020, Dr. Oko Boye described the research as revealing and added that the drug has already been approved for some conditions in Ghana.

He said Ghana’s case management team would be updated and the drug adopted as quickly as possible.

“When you do research in your country and it shows some good results, you share with everybody. This has been signed on by His Excellency Nana Akufo-Addo. Almost all presidents have signed onto the partnership. We have agreed that if Noguchi discovers any drug or any procedure, we have to share it with the world.” Dr. Oko-Boye said.

He continued that “This drug is a steroid and is already approved for use for other conditions in our hospitals. The research shows that if you have 100 people on ventilators, about 33 can be saved from death when you use the drug. And for those who are on oxygen, about 20 out of 100 can be saved from mortality. This is very revealing and so what we have to do quickly is, we have a case management team. We just have to share this with them and quickly find a way to adopt it and make sure we apply it in our critical situation.”


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