Uganda launches COVID-19 treatment

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Health Minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng (R) speaking during the launch of the treatment today (Wednesday), September 16, 2020. (Courtesy photo)

The Ministry of Health today Wednesday, September 16, 2020 launched the randomised clinical trial for use of COVID-19 Convalescent Plasma (CCP) for treatment of COVID-19 in Uganda.

Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the minister of health said during the launch that the commencement of the trial will determine the efficacy of convalescent plasma in treating COVID-19.

A total of 162 COVID-19 convalescent plasma units have been collected. This, according to the ministry can be used to treat 65 patients.

Convalescent plasma is plasma from individuals who have recovered from an infection and it may contain antibodies against that infection.

“We are at phase IV of the outbreak. This means we have widespread community transmission. All our efforts are geared towards mitigation and use of CCP is one part of our strategies” Dr Aceng said while launching the clinical trials.

She further appealed to individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 to continue giving plasma as teams will continue to require it for the trials.

Speaking at the launch of the clinical trail, The head Makerere University Lung Institute , Dr Bruce Kirenga, said 186 recovered COVID-19 patients willingly consented to participate in the blood donation but only 162 qualified.

“The donors came from all parts of Uganda except Karamoja region, where there was no COVID-19 infection at the time,” he added.

All the plasma samples donated had enough antibodies to warrant use in treatment of COVID-19 patients.

There is emerging evidence from different countries to support the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma in the treatment of COVID-19 especially among severe and critical forms.

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