African drug authorities warm up to Prof Ogwang

Saturday July 24 2021
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Prof Patrick Ogwang, the innovator of the herbal drug, Covidex, used in Covid-19 treatment.

By STEPHEN OTAGE

Jena Herbals Ltd, the company manufacturing Covidex, a herbal drug used as a supportive treatment for Covid-19, says the drug authorities of a number of African countries have started making inquiries about its efficacy.

Addressing journalists at St John’s Church Kamwokya yesterday, Prof Patrick Ogwang, the innovator of the herbal drug, said after securing approval from the Uganda’s drug regulator National Drug Authority (NDA) to manufacture Covidex, the national drug regulators of Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Rwanda and some Southern Africa countries have sent him forms requesting for more information about the efficacy of the herbal medicine.

“I am also hearing stories that the drug is in DR Congo, that it has reached [the United Kingdom] UK where someone who was doing badly has recovered. I do not have evidence about that but the official communication I have is that Kenya and Rwanda have sent requests for more information about the drug and I have sent the information to their [national] drug authorities,” he said.

Prof Ogwang added that he had received similar requests from Zambia, Zimbabwe and other Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries.

“Covidex has had an impact, that is why you are not hearing [sirens of] ambulances in the neighbourhood anymore because it has reduced stress on hospital beds, and people are no longer selling property to foot medical bills,” he said.

A day after securing land to build a factory to manufacture the drug at the Soroti Industrial Park and a 10-year tax holiday from government, on Wednesday, Prof Ogwang and his wife, Dr Lillian Ogwang, made a food donation to 300 residents of Kamwokya slum in Kampala, whose sources of livelihood have been wiped out by the lockdown, which government instituted to curtail the spread of the viral disease.

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Asked why he choose to take the factory to Soroti District, which is hundreds of kilometres away from Kampala City, Prof Ogwang said government had directed him to  have the factory built there because it will support and improve medical research at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital, as well as Soroti University so that it becomes the first factory in the country to work directly with a public university and a public hospital to design solutions to problems identified by the university and hospital in the society like it happens in other developed countries.
 

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