GULU-UGANDA/NEWSDAY: Gulu University’s faculty of Bio-technology and Pharmaceutical Studies (PharmBiotec), needs financial assistance to produce large quantities of their Covid-19 herbal treatments.
Three weeks ago, a group of more than ten scientists at the University started packing four different concoctions which they said they have been administering to Covid-19 patients in the community since January 2021.
The herbs named Covilyce 1, which come in form of powder, nasal drops, (anal) suppositories and (syrup) linctus were formulated from eight different herbs.
But the National Drug Authority (NDA) has ordered the University to stop manufacture of Covilyce-1, a herbal medicine saying it has not yet been approved. However NDA said it has posted experts to examine the effectiveness of the drug.
THe University confirmed on Wednesday that they had Monday afternoon hosted the North regional team officials of National Drug Authority led by David Kaggwa, the manager Regional Office.
“They advised the University to formalize the process of notifying the Authority about COVILYCE and promised to work closely with Us,” the university said in a statement.
Dr. Alice Lamwaka, a senior lecturer at PharmBiotec revealed that they formulated the four products basing on their knowledge of herbs used in treating infections especially during epidemics and the fact that they already have a unit for traditional medicines at the University. She asked government for a Shs.200m support.
Last month, the University said it had more than 70 potential Covid-19 herbs lined up for testing. The procedure was however interrupted by the current lockdown.
However, Dr. Lamwaka said these particular herbs were not tested but were subjected to phytochemical analysis to find out what active ingredients are present in them and what diseases they can cure.
Dr. Lamwaka claimed that the herbs can cure a user with signs and symptoms of Covid-19 between 12-72 hours of getting treatment. Those with mild symptoms of Covid-19, she said, are given the nasal drops in their mouth, ears, and nose and get well between 12-72 hours.
Patients whose infections have gone to their chest use the linctus which goes down through the systemic circulation. Those with co-morbidities, Covid-19, hypertension, asthma, ulcers, and diabetes, use the powder in combination with the linctus and nasal drops and cut off viral infection within 12 hours. Then patients who are unconscious, can’t swallow, on oxygen, or have difficulty breathing, use the suppository which is administered via the rectum.
Dr. Lamwaka said the good feedback from the community that the products work even on severely ill patients motivated the team to prepare all the different formulations.
She estimates that more than 100 people have used these herbs since January 2021.
However, Dr. Lamwaka said they are still manually pounding the herbs using mortar and pestle because they don’t have a grinder, and manually packing the herbs because they don’t have a production line. She said financial support is needed to help them produce enough for both national and international users.
Currently, the university is using the more than 200 traditional herbalists that got trained at the faculty to administer the herbs to Covid-19 patients in the community.
However, Michael Mutyaba who heads the traditional medicines division at National Drugs Authority-NDA, said he was not aware of the production of any Covid-19 herbs by the University.
The NDA last week approved Covidex as a supportive remedy to covid19 treatment but it has since attracted two suits over patent rights.
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