Scientists at Makerere University will soon start developing Covid 19 drugs and vaccines following the acquisition of a Shs2.6billion machine that will help in the production of the much-needed drugs to deal with the pandemic.
The machine is the first of its kind in East Africa and fourth in Africa with 1 in South Africa and 2 others in Ghana.
The machine contains electron microscopes that can see nanoparticles, normal machines cannot see.
According to Prof John Baptist Kirabira, the Mechanical Engineering Associate Professor, the machine doesn’t only develop drugs but also handles forensics and mineral identification.
The billion shillings machine was showcased at the College of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology (CEDAT).
Prof Kirabira however says since Covid-19 continues to ravage the country, this machine is specifically meant to help the country to develop and discover the Covid-19 vaccine and the drugs.
At least 2,412 deaths have been reported since the first Covid case was confirmed in the country in March 2020.
President Yoweri Museveni earlier this month said Uganda has received green monkey cells which are critical in the development of its Covid-19 vaccine.
Museveni said the acquisition of the green monkey cells is a major boost in the country’s quest to develop a Covid-19 vaccine to address a recent surge in coronavirus cases.
“One of the things they (local scientists) were looking for was the green monkey cells which can grow well for the virus-like corona, it is going to be the first time these cells are being used in a laboratory in Africa to multiply the virus for the vaccines,” Museveni said.