Uganda will launch its first clinical trial for a natural treatment product against COVID-19 in search for medication against the virus that has so far killed 318 citizens and infected 39,261 in the country.
According to authorities in Uganda, the drug code named UBV-01V is the first Ugandan chemotherapeutic product to go to go through an international level clinical trial process is set to be launched today at Mulago National Referral Hospital.
The clinical trial is a product of a highly scientific process to analyze and validate a natural product anticipated to have antiviral, anti-inflammatory and immunological abilities, and an initiative of the Presidential Scientific Initiative on Epidemics (PRESIDE).
Since April 2020, researchers at the National Virus Research Institute led by Dr. Grace Nambutya Kyeyune, have worked tirelessly through all the rigorous procedures to come up with a successfully proven product that is now ready for clinical trials.
The drug according to authorities has already gone through multiple quality assurance steps and got all necessary certification and approval for use in human beings in a clinical trial setting. It has also been approved by National Drug Authority, Uganda National Bureau of Standards and National Council of Science and Technology.
The trials authorities say, will validate the content, standardization and replication of the product after which it will be rolled out for industrial production and widespread use. The project was funded by the government of Uganda through the ministry of finance, Science and Technology and Innovations, Makerere University, the Ministry of Health, and Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI).
Dr. Monica Musenero, an epidemiologist and special advisor for government on epidemics said everything is ready including high skilled specialists to undertake the process.
The study is aimed at sampling 126 participants who should be adult males and females aged 18 to 70 years admitted for COVID-19 at the national referral hospital. For female patients, they should not be pregnant or breastfeeding or intending to get pregnant during the period the trial is taking place.
The scientists are saying that within 40 days, enough patients will have been treated to convince other persons that are not part of the trials that the drug works against Covid-19 and other viruses.
Government also appealed to citizens to welcome the clinical trial and willingly participate when asked to volunteer especially those who have tested positive for COVID-19.