President Museveni has said the country’s made Covid-19 drug is making good progress.
Code-named UBV-01N, the Covid treatment has been created from a combination of natural products that were already being used in communities in the country and it kills viruses, stops inflammations and modifies the work of body immune system, properties that developers say are important in curbing complications and deaths from Covid-19.
In January, government launched the clinical trial for the locally-developed natural product.
Speaking during the opening of the World Health Summit at Speke Resort Munyonyo, President Museveni said the country is making good strides as far as the Covid-19 drug is concerned, adding that many people have been cured.
“With the therapeutics, one of our products has been tried among some patients and most of them have fully recovered, while the others are still on treatment,” Museveni said on Sunday evening.
“We target to reach 124 patients before we are sure that this medicine treats Covid-19 patients. I salute the few outsiders that helped us. I, therefore, appeal to our regional scientists to work together and put up a united front.”
The president said research into traditional medicine is very important especially in Africa since most people use such herbs for treatment.
He also mentioned Asia and Latin America where most of the population uses traditional medicine to meet some of their primary health care needs.
“Research into traditional medicine is particularly important in Africa in making good use of our natural and richly endowed environment. In Africa, up to 80% of the population uses traditional medicine for primary health care. The age-old cures that kept our forefathers disease-free must be given enough attention so that we improve on them and preserve their use,” he said.
According to Museveni, government remains committed to funding research and innovations by scientists especially those in the universities.
He, however, challenged Makerere University which gets a shs30 billion funding every year under the Makerere University Research and Innovations Fund (Mak-RIF)to not only publish but to translate research into products that spur our industrial development and catalyze pharmaceutical industrialization to stop the massive dependence on outside pharmaceuticals.
“We want tangible results and our ordinary Ugandans have hope in our scientists to come up with solutions for different ailments like cancer and many other diseases.”
The president also commented about the Ugandan-made Covid-19 vaccine that he said is also progressing well.
He noted that he hopes the vaccine will be ready by November 2021.
“Making a vaccine involves 9 or 8 phases if WHO allows you to skip one phase. Our researchers are now entering stage 4. We hope to get to stage 8 by November 2021. I can assure you that by the end of 2021, we shall no longer be waiting for outsiders to rescue us from mass death,” Museveni said.