Scientists turn to goat milk to curb HIV-related deaths

Wednesday March 17 2021
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A boy milks a goat at in Karamoja in 2014. Scientists at the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank in Entebbe, have said they will start making HIV/Aids treatment tablets from goat milk.PHOTO/STEVEN ARIONG.

By Tonny Abet

Scientists at the National Animal Genetic Resources Centre and Databank (NAGRC&DB) in Entebbe have said they will start making HIV/Aids treatment tablets from goat milk.
Goat milk contains calcium, potassium, highly-soluble less-allergenic proteins, digestible fats and energy-producing substances, all of which are essential in boosting the immunity of the people living with HIV/Aids, according to the scientists.

Process
Dr Peter Beine, the NAGRC&DB’s acting Executive Director, in a statement yesterday, said the milk for making the tablets will be obtained from a special breed of dairy goats called the Toggenburg, which originate from Switzerland.

 “On the recommendation of our scientists and researchers, we are bringing the Toggenburg breed, a dairy goat that has been found to withstand conditions here,” he said. 
A study by a Turkey’s scientists Nazli Turkmen, which was published in a scientific journal Science Direct in 2017, shows that goat milk has high amounts of important substances called conjugated linoleic acids, which cause immune stimulation, growth promotion, and disease prevention. 

“The most important effect of goat milk proteins is their healing effect on cow milk allergy, the most common food allergy, which causes many deaths in infants. In addition, goat milk proteins is similar to human milk, which results in more digestibility compared to the cow milk,” reads the report tilted the Nutritional Value and Health Benefits of Goat Milk Components.

In Uganda, dairy goat farming was first promoted in 2003 in the districts of eastern districts of Mbale, Sironko, Bududa, Manafwa and Kapchorwa by FARM Africa, an international non-governmental organisation working with poor communities.
The country has around 1.4 million people who are living with HIV.  Up to 21,000 HIV/Aids-related deaths were registered in the country in 2019, according to Uganda AIDS Commission. 

Anti-retroviral (ARV) treatment  availed by the government to health facilities across the country is the standard of care, according to the UAC. 
The country currently manufactures ARVs at the Kampala-based Cipla Quality Chemicals Company Ltd.

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About goat milk
According to Webmd.com, one-cup serving of whole goat milk contains: calories: 168,protein: 9 grams, fat: 10g, carbohydrates 11 grams,   Fiber: 0 grams and 11gs of  sugar. Compared to standard cow milk, soy milk, or nut milks, goat milk has more protein per serving.

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