The Uganda People’s Defence Forces has participated in the first phase of the feasibility study for collecting, processing and storing of the Covid-19 convalescent plasma for Coronavirus in Uganda that kicked off on Wednesday.
The aim of the feasibility study is to collect and process COVID-19 convalescent plasma for treatment of COVID-19.
Convalescent plasma is plasma from individuals who have recovered from an infection, and this plasma may contain antibodies against that infection.
Since the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic in March, UPDF has had a 360-degree approach after being involved in all the stages of this the pandemic’s control from prevention, care and treatment, case management, surveillance, and now is involved in the research.
On Mar,25, 2020, 86 medics from UPDF were dispatched to different hospitals to boost the effort and these would later turn into critical staff at different hospitals in the fight against the pandemic.
The feasibility study conducted by the COVIDRES-Uganda Research group; a multi-disciplinary research group coordinated by the Makerere University Lung Institute (MLI) saw members from MLI, UPDF, Mulago and Uganda Cancer Institute among others.
Speaking during the function, the Health Minister, Dr.Jane Ruth Aceng said Covid-19 has not yet got treatment but efforts to look for it are still ongoing.
“What is given currently is only support. Having convalescent plasma come on board is great and we are looking forward to it being started tomorrow,”Aceng said.
According to Aceng, Uganda is losing between two and three COVID-19 patients per day and the numbers are increasing every day and thus the need for more innovations.
She cautioned Ugandans who still think that Covid-19 is a joke noting that it is real and kills.
“It is with us and it can take any one of us as it has already taken very prominent people from our society. Do not to become part of the statistics but part of those that are supporting the response to ensure that Ugandans remain alive.”
She applauded government for funding the Study, Makerere University for supporting responses to COVID-19 always through advice, research and hands-on, the collaborators on the study but more so the plasma donors who are recovered COVID19 patients who came in willingly having heard of the study.
Maj Gen Ambrose Musinguzi, the UPDF Director Medical services, who represented UPDF at the event, said they will always be available to support all the efforts.
“It is our concern as UPDF that in circumstances like this, when the country is facing a pandemic, UPDF must be there for Ugandans as it has always been,”