As far back as June the University of Colombo had requested the Ministry of Health to allow the use of Ivermectin and Vitamin D to treat mild and moderate cases of Covid, especially with Sri Lanka being at a crucial stage where new variants are testing the efficacy of vaccines.

In a letter dated 28 June 2021 Saroj Jayasinghe, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at the University of Colombo, asked Dr Sanjeewa Munasinghe, the Secretary to the Ministry of Health, to allow their use because of mounting evidence of their efficacy.  ‘Ivermectin is a very safe drug which has been used for almost 40 years in many countries though less commonly in Sri Lanka’, he said.

Among the reasons Professor Jayasinghe gives for its use are that Ivermectin has antiviral properties against corona viruses and is effective to prevent, treat and reduce the severity of Covid 19. As of 16 June 2021, three good publications have supported its use and the UK has embarked on a large population study to assess its efficacy. Ivermectin has been in the essential drugs list of the WHO since 2019 and is used in large quantities in Africa against parasites.  Sri Lanka had done the initial studies on Ivermectin against filariasis in the 1980s.

There is also increasing evidence about the efficacy of Vitamin D in Covid 19.


Professor Jayasinghe proposes that the Secretary adds the following para to the guidelines or circular. ‘There is emerging research evidence that Ivermectin and Vitamin D could have a favourable impact on Covid 19. In the absence of alternative therapies qualified medical officers could use these to drugs in short courses at their discretion to treat mild and moderate cases of Covid 19.  Treatment of severe cases should be done with the agreement of the attending physician or intensivist or specialist’.    

The lack of a recommended drug against Covid 19 has led to some in the medical profession prescribing corticosteroids.  But physicians are already reportedly noticing a trend of secondary bacterial pneumonia and fungal infections in hospitals which could be attributed to it.


The recommended dose of Vitamin D and Ivermectin for adults over 50 kg are 2000 units of Vitamin D for 10 days and 12 mg of Ivermectin daily for five days.





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