Scientists from Uganda have developed a herbal anti-malarial drug in about three days.According to research findings by the scientists, the herbal anti-malarial drug named DEI Anti-malaria is able to kill malaria-causing parasites in the human body using the natural compounds extracted from plants.
Mbarara University of Science and Technology
Dr Patrick Ogwang, the group lead-investigator, a pharmacist and lecturer at Mbarara University of Science and Technology, said laboratory experiments have proved safety and efficaciousness of the drug.
“Parasites were got from malaria patients in Mulago Hospital and subjected to the drug in the laboratory. They were all killed by the compounds of the drug,” Dr Ogwang said.
“It was also tested on mice and killed all the parasites without being toxic to body organs like the liver, kidney and bone marrow,” he added.
Dr Ogwang added that although modern medicines are greatly contributing to the treatment and containment of malaria, they are hugely limited by very high costs and highly vulnerable to parasites resistance thus there is need for an African local solution.
He said that the natural traditional medicinal alternative has been in existence for over 40 years, treating all types of malaria, including falciparum and plasmoduim.
Results from the laboratory experiments have been taken to the National Drug Authority and given a notification number THA218. The drug prototype is packaged in forms of capsules for adults in powdered form to be taken by children as syrup.
DEI Group of Companies
DEI Group of Companies managing director Mr Matthias Magoola, the owner of the drug formula, said the drug will help in controlling malaria which accounts for about 50 per cent of illness in Africa.
Speaking during the launch of the research findings in Kampala, the Minister of Science and Innovation Dr Elioda Tumwesigye said he will offer full support to the scientists so as to get patents and develop the herbal drug to advanced levels.
“The drug still needs to go through all stages of drug development before it is approved for mass production and use,” Dr Tumwesigye said.
Head of drug assessment at NDA, Ms Florence Nakacwa, said the drug is yet to be approved.
She said for the drug to be approved, it must meet the requirements of labeling, all clinical trials and the production factory must be inspected and accredited by NDA.