Government scientists are struggling to acquire the required number of volunteers to participate in the trials of a homegrown herbal treatment regimen that started in January.
Community mistrust which has also affected the uptake of the AstraZeneca vaccine is to blame for this situation, according to Dr. Monica Musenero the Presidential Advisor on Epidemics.
Speaking to NBS Television, Dr. Musenero said the falling COVID-19 positive cases in February and April which led to the closure of COVID-19 isolation and treatment centers around the country, also affected the progress.
“We started to recruit patients, the cases of COVID-19 went down so our projection which we had made in December when we had so many cases coming in didn’t work. We moved more slowly than we expected,” Dr. Musenero said.
On the January 27, 2021, President Museveni launched clinical trials of this homegrown Covid-19 treatment drug named UBV-01N, a product of the Natural Chemoraptics Research Institute.
According to the researchers, the drug is believed to have anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and immunological properties that have the ability to suppress the COVID-19 virus.
Dr. Musenero however said that they have only registered 35 people so far of the targeted 124.
The presidential advisor however said that now with the rising cases of COVID-19 patients, they are hopeful to get the remaining participants and conclude the clinical trial phase.
Dr. Musenero said that the treatment regimen has so far been used on some patients in Tororo, who showed improvement and they trust that if trials are completed, it will be useful in the country’s fight against COVID-19.
Uganda is currently using the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine, which was imported from the COVAX facility of India in March, 2021.