Uganda has approved the production of an indigenous herbal medicine as a supporting treatment for viral infections, including COVID-19.
President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni had tasked a team of scientists at Gulu University’s Faculty of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Studies (Pharm-Biotech) with developing Covylice-1, a drug that claims to cure COVID-19 patients in 72 hours.
Dr. Alice Lamwaka, a senior lecturer at Pharm-Biotech, who leads a 10-member team of scientists, last week claimed that they developed four products based on their knowledge of herbs used in treating infections, particularly coronavirus.
She also requested funding to support this prospective COVID-19 treatment.
In response, Museveni met with a team of four scientists from the university and discussed Covilyce-1 development and the manufacturing process, according to a statement issued by the State House in Kampala late Thursday.
The meeting was attended by National Drug Authority Executive Director David Nahamya, Uganda Registration Services Bureau (URSB) officials, Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng, Vice President Jessica Alupo, and Finance Minister Matia Kassaija.
During the meeting, Museveni approved the production of Covylice-1 and pledged government support.
Last month, the National Drug Authority approved Covidex, a herbal anti-infection drug developed by a team of scientists led by pharmacologist Patrick Ogwang.
During the meeting, the president directed the Health Ministry to prepare Gulu and Mbarara referral hospitals for observational testing of the two drugs to determine whether they can cure COVID-19 patients.
The Covilyce-1 herbs, which are available in powder, nasal drops, suppository, and (syrup) linctus, were created by combining eight different herbs.
Lamwaka said the herbs can cure mild COVID-19 symptoms within 12-72 hours of treatment.
David Otira, a local resident, said his mother was one of the 20 people who had been healed by the drug developed at the university.
“My mother was on the verge of death from COVID-19 when my brother contacted Gulu University, which treated her with their drug,” he said. “Now she is living normally.”