With the global outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the World Health Organization (WHO) is conducting a global clinical trial, called solidarity, to identify possible treatment options for this contagious disease.
The malaria treatment, hydroxychloroquine is one of the four drugs being used in the trial. The ministry of Health has proposed using hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 patients in the country.
Hydroxychloroquine is also currently used to treat autoimmune diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. Uganda currently has identified 248 COVID-19 positive cases.
There have been no deaths identified as a result of the virus in the country and 66 patients have recovered. Hydroxychloroquine was used to treat these patients.
Clarity on whether this medication had a positive impact on these patients will only be known once the solidarity trial is complete.
As part of Uganda’s COVID-19 response, President Museveni called Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, to reach an agreement where India will expedite export 750kgs of the hydroxychloroquine active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) to CiplaQCIL to enable local production of the drug.
The API is currently being exported and CiplaQCIL will start the manufacturing process