President Yoweri Museveni has authorized Shs 3.7 billion funding to Gulu University to speed up its research into the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) herbal treatment drug.
Last week, the university’s faculty of Biotechnology and Pharmaceutical Studies (PharmBiotec) headed by Dr Alice Venronica Lamwaka revealed it had made significant strides towards the discovery of a treatment drug for Covid-19 now named, Covilyce 1 and that it needed financial backing for large scale production.
Dr Lamwama, a senior lecturer and the in-charge of the PharmBiotec said the Covilyce 1 invention which comes in powdered form, nasal drops, anal suppositories, and linctus was formulated from a recipe of eight different herbs.
She disclosed that herbal treatment can cure a patient presenting Covid-19 pandemic-like symptoms within 12-72 hours of administering the dose through drops in their mouth, ears, and nose.
James Onono Ojok, the university’s assistant public relations officer said the news of Covilyce cure caught the attention of President Museveni who invited the university’s top officials for a meeting at State House Entebbe.
Onono explained that Dr Lamwaka requested for Shs 3.7 billion to support her clinical trial to be done at Gulu Regional Referral hospital which the president approved, and he directed the ministry of Health to immediately clear her to proceed with the clinical tests.
Meanwhile, Prof George Openyjuru Ladaah, the university vice chancellor revealed that during the meeting, they also reminded the president over a pending Shs 12 billion pledge he made in 2012 to support pharmacy programs.
The minister of Health Dr Ruth Jane Ruth Aceng applauded Dr Lamwaka for her innovative discovery and pledged support towards further development of the cure drug to save lives of Ugandans. Lamwaka’s discovery becomes the second herbal solution coming out of a public university after Prof Patrick Ogwang Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST) also made Covidex.
Gulu University is currently using the more than 200 traditional herbalists that got trained at its faculty of medicine to administer the herbs to Covid-19 patients in the community. Since January 2021, the university says more than 100 patients of Covid-19 have benefited from the herbal treatment.
The Uganda National Drugs Authority (NDA) has since also given a positive nod to the production of Covilyce after touring the university’s biotechnology and pharmaceutical studies premises.