Uganda approves second herbal drug for COVID-19

Uganda approves second herbal drug for COVID-19
Uganda had earlier approved Covidex made by scientists from Mbarara, led by pharmacologist Patrick Ogwang (photo credit: NTV)

JUBA – Ugandan government has approved a second locally manufactured herbal medicine to be used in treating COVID-19 but as a supplementary to the regular methods.

One of the country’s leading media outlets, the Daily Monitor, reported Friday that the Uganda National Drug Authority (NDA) approved Vidicine, a locally processed herbal drug on Wednesday in Mbarara City to reinforce the fight against COVID-19.

The drug has been manufactured by Kazire Health Products, which is owned by Ugandan pharmacologist Edward Kazire.

According to the Ugandan media, Kazire revealed the project was part of the wider joint initiative by the government and the private health institutions to find a cure for the disease.

“A year ago, our research team embarked on a huge project aimed at finding out a complementary treatment for Covid-19, this was in response to the pandemic that befell the world. Being practitioners in the field of natural medicine, we found it important to engage in first tracking the solution to save our people,” Kazire is quoted by the Daily Monitor saying.

“I would like to inform Ugandans and the world of science that the journey of finding this solution is taking shape. We registered a landmark step on August 16 when NDA notified our herbal medicine under brand name Kazire Vidicine,” he added.

Even though Kazire revealed the drug had already facilitated the healing of 270 COVID-19 patients under home-based care during the country’s battle with the second wave, he had a word of caution against believing that it is the answer to the disease.

“There are many questions already coming up from public and pharmacies calling to stock the product asking if Vidicine treats COVID-19; the answer is no. It’s a complementary drug in the treatment and management of COVID-19 because it stops the inflammation of the lungs, kidneys, and heart keeps oxygen levels up, and controls viral replication. This means it works better with home-based care as guided and advised by health workers,” he said.

He said the Ugandan government had licensed him to produce the drug on a large scale for distribution in Uganda. His production capacity is 100,000 doses a day.

“We have advised the manufacturer to conduct clinical trials, which are the highest level of evidence to ascertain any claims of treatment than that approved for,” said Abiaz Rwamiri, the NDA spokesperson.

It is the second time the Kampala administration is endorsing a herbal medicine to combat the bug since clearing another one known as Covidex, which was made by scientists from Mbarara, led by pharmacologist Patrick Ogwang’.