Desperate times: Group of governors urges gov’t to consider using Ivermectin in COVID treatment

Published April 7, 2021, 4:05 PM

by Chito Chavez

Desperate times, they say, call for desperate measures.

As the national government again appears to be losing the fight against the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), the League of Provinces of the Philippines (LPP) has joined the call to consider the use of “Ivermectin’’ as a treatment drug for coronavirus infection.


But LPP President and Marinduque governor Presbitero Velasco Jr. said it should start with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) running extensive studies on the possibility of using the Ivermectin, which is used for deworming of animals.

In an interview over DzBB, Velasco stressed that other viable options should be swiftly considered by the FDA because the country is facing extreme problems in the supply of COVID-19 vaccines.

“Alam niyo po may problema tayo sa bakuna. Napakatagal po ng pagkuha natin ay hindi natin ma create yung herd immunity. (We have a problem in the (COVID-19) vaccine supply. It takes time to get them that is why we cannot create a herd immunity),’’ Velasco said.

As far as he knew, Velasco noted that a local pharmaceutical firm has approved the use of “Ivermectin’’ in the country.

“Pero nakikita po doon sa mga nababasa ko sa mga findings at saka mga reports nung mga iba ibang bansa na mga government health offices na epektibo po yung ivermectin at nagamit na po yan sa river blindness doon sa Africa po yata so nagagamit sa tao (Based on what I read about the findings and reports from the government health offices of other countries, Ivermectin is effective and was even used for river blindness if I am not mistaken in Africa so it was used for human beings),’’ he added.

Onchocerciasis, commonly known as “river blindness”, is caused by the parasitic worm Onchocerca volvulus.

The symptoms include severe itching, disfiguring skin conditions and visual impairment including permanent blindness with medical reports saying that more than 99 percent of infected people live in 31 African countries.

The LPP head stressed the need to try “Ivermectin’’ that is effective for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19 since the country is running out of options to fight the virus stressing the difficulty of attaining herd immunity.

Like any other drugs, Velasco said that Ivermectin has adverse effects that need to be monitored.

“Kailangan doktor ang nagpe-prescribe at kailangan tatanungin kung may mga ailments po na na maaaring maapektuhan nung Ivermectin. Lahat po ng gamot ay may adverse effects ( It should be prescribed by a doctor. You also need to ask (the doctor) if there are ailments that would be affected by Ivermectin. All medicines have adverse effects), Velasco ended.