The National Drug Authority has warned of significant safety implications relating to misuse, overuse, poor storage, unsupervised use of Covidex by learners.
Although Covidex was approved as a supportive treatment for viral infections including COVID-19, NDA says it is not a cure and also requires supervision by experts.
The herbal therapy was invented by Mbarara University Scientist Professor Patrick Ongeu Ogwang.
The warning comes after the proposal by Heads of Secondary schools asked the government to make Covidex a mandatory item for students while reporting to schools.
The school heads led by Martin Okiria, the National Chairman of the Association of Secondary School Head Teachers of Uganda (ASSHTU), said Covidex, if made a requirement could help to silence the stigma that comes with new COVID-19 cases.
Okiria made these remarks during a virtual stakeholders meeting that was hosted by the Ministry of Education on Monday.
“We think that students should be asked to come with at least three (3) bottles each, so that if one develops symptoms they can take the Covidex. We think that this will help,” Okiria stated.
His proposal was welcomed by the stakeholders who attended the meeting hosted by Ismael Mulindwa, the Assistant Commissioner of Private Schools Policy Regulations at Ministry of Education.
The meeting was hosted by Ismael Mulindwa, the Assistant Commissioner of Private Schools Policy Regulations at Ministry of Education.
However, the NDA Public Relations Officer Abiaz Rwamwiri, warned schools and parents of the significant safety implications relating to misuse, overuse, poor storage and unsupervised use.
“We want to warn schools and parents that this proposal has significant safety implications relating to misuse, overuse, poor storage, unsupervised use. For how long will the learners be subjected to the drug,” Rwamwiri noted.
NDA says Covidex, Professor Patrick Ogwang, was approved for supportive treatment of viral infections and not prevention (or prophylaxis) of the same.
“Forcing children to buy it when they are not sick promotes unsafe drug use. We remind the public that drugs should not be treated as snacks!” NDA noted.
In the meantime, NDA’s warning is likely to dampen the morale of Prof. Ogwang who had unveiled plans to produce one million bottles. He said this during a meeting hosted by the new Minister of Science and Technology Dr. Monica Musenero, in which he said that he is ready to produce up to one million bottles, to take care of needs by students.