The Covid Treatment Quick Start Consortium delivered its first shipment of Paxlovid, a Covid-19 treatment made by Pfizer Inc., to Africa last week with 1,000 courses of the drug arriving in Zambia.
The consortium, launched in September and backed by the Clinton Health Access Initiative and institutions including Duke University, aims to distribute 100,000 courses of the drug donated by Pfizer to poor nations, which have yet to receive therapeutic medicines to tackle the coronavirus.
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Other countries due to receive Paxlovid shipments include Ghana, Kenya, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, as well as Laos, the consortium said in a statement. Rwanda is currently the only African country where the treatment is available.
Paxlovid is the top oral treatment for the virus and if administered within days of a patient testing positive for Covid-19 it cuts death, illness and lingering symptoms, known as long covid, from the disease.