Dr Pali Lehohla is the former Statistician-General of South Africa and former head of Statistics South Africa. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi
Dr Pali Lehohla is the former Statistician-General of South Africa and former head of Statistics South Africa. Picture: Thobile Mathonsi

The bullies that govern our medicines

By Opinion Time of article published Jan 31, 2021

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By Pali Lehohla

FOR MORE than three centuries, Africa has turned many of he human capital to refugees through successive government and political regimes.

Most of the continent’s best minds are today found in far flung countries as asylum seekers fleeing dictatorships and wars.

Under normal circumstances, people move in and out of countries for economic and exploration needs. But Covid-19 has changed all that. It has turned houses into refugee camps where citizens remain locked-in and do not move out as freely.

Despite fervent prayers, snake oils and false prophesies that promise healing powers, there are science based methods to deal with the pandemic. These range from social distancing, sanitization, the use of artemisia, eucalyptus, vaccine, and Ivermectin amongst others.

Covid-19 is very close to home and triggers action from everyone. What is it that can bring about a different world in times of distress? Another African has joined medical luminaries such as Drs Chris Barnard and Emmanuel Taban to find the solution, Dr Paul Marik was born in Johannesburg and studied medicine at Wits. He has discovered that Ivermectin can be used to treat Covid-19. For a while, the SA Health Products Authority (Sahpra) would have none of it. This week however the authority said it would allow Ivermectin to be used in the fight against Covid-19.

Sahpra seems to have forgotten that all physicians take the Hippocratic Oath to serve humanity and to save lives. They made the argument for the use of the drug from day one. For Sahpra to find “compassionate” reasons for the use of Ivermectin after 307 days and successive lockdown regimes is simply disingenuous and adds to other lame excuse by the Ministerial Advisory Council memorandum against the use of flexible fibreoptic bronchoscopy that Taban has applied successfully to treat Covid-19 patients

When we do not do research on our own findings and enhance collaboration with others who do we will always find our science reasoning wanting.

A man who was released after sixty years in solitary confinement asked first person what the sun was. The answer he got was, I do not know. I come from a different village.

Sahpra comes from a different village and does nothing about its challenges.

Dr Pali Lehohla is the former Statistician-General of South Africa and former head of Statistics South Africa.

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