Uganda’s President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has directed the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development to release Shillings 3.024 billion to facilitate research on the use of Ivermectin prophylaxis in the treatment of COVID-19 infection.
Ivermectin is approved for human use to treat infections caused by some parasitic worms and head lice and skin conditions like rosacea. But the USA drug regulator, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not authorised or approved ivermectin for use in preventing or treating COVID-19 in humans or animals.
The FDA says available data do not show ivermectin is effective against COVID-19. Clinical trials assessing ivermectin tablets for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19 in people are ongoing and warns that taking large doses of ivermectin is dangerous.
In Uganda, the President tasked the Uganda People’s Defense Forces – UPDF medical team to research on the use Ivermectin prophylaxis in the treatment of COVID-19 infection on sick soldiers and it was found to have benefits especially in high risk population.
“The team needs to carry out a well-designed randomized controlled study to evaluate the dozing and scheduling of ivermectin. The findings will inform policy and guide on ivermectin prophylaxis’ effectiveness in the treatment of COVID-19,” read the President’s letter.
Further, Museveni’s letter dated 22nd February, 2022 to the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija added that, “To be able to carry out the studies, the team requires shillings 3,024,150,500. I am, therefore, directing that you avail the funds to the team to complete the trials.”
According to the President, the UPDF team undertook the initial clinical trials of Ivermectin prophylaxis in the treatment of the contagion together with Makerere University College of Health Sciences.
The latest statistics from the Ministry of Health reveals that as of 17 March 2022, indicates 68 new confirmed cases of the virus. Since March 2020, up to 163,635 confirmed cumulative cases with 3,595 death recorded.