Nigeria will continue with the planned clinical trials on malaria drug hydroxychloroquine on Covid-19 patients even after the World Health Organization (WHO) halted a similar effort because of safety fears.

The director of Nigeria’s National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (Nafdac), Mojisola Adeyeye, told a local broadcaster that she does not dispute WHO’s conclusions but they want to generate their own data.

“I do not know the data that they’re looking at, whether it’s from the Caucasian population or from the African population. If the data they’re looking at and the reason for suspending the trials is from Caucasian population, then it may be justified. But I don’t think we have data from the African population yet, because our genetic make up is different.”

Prof Adeyeye said the clinical trials will be concluded in three to four months.

A recent medical study in medical journal The Lancet suggested the drug could increase the risk of patients dying from Covid-19.

Hydroxychloroquine is safe for malaria, and conditions like lupus or arthritis, but no clinical trials have recommended its use for treating Covid-19.