Despite the uproar that followed after COVID-19 vaccine trial comments on the BBC suggesting that British scientists could start their trials in Kenya, the Kenyan government has confirmed the country has been approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to take part in clinical trials.
Acting Health Director-General Dr. Patrick Amoth, announced that in terms of treatment, Kenya has been listed by WHO to be part of the Solidarity Trial. The trials, however, he said will be limited to the kind of drugs already accepted by the global health body. One such is Remdesivir, which is the latest drug to be registered as Covid-19 treatment therapy by the United States’ Food and Drug Administration.
Dr. Mercy Mwangangi, the Health Ministry Chief Administrative Secretary said that Kenyans will be used to test the drug from Madagascar, dubbed Covid-Organics, she, however, insisted that Kenya has strict protocols to follow before the experimental drug is accepted.
“Of course we support ingenuity and innovation in Africa and that is something to be celebrated. But this celebration needs to occur under protocols and procedures which such drugs have been evaluated, especially for safety,” Dr Mwangangi said.
Tanzania and Guinea Bissau have already placed their orders for the drug which was launched by Madagascar President Andry Rajoelina and is developed from the artemisia plant, which is used to treat malaria. WHO has, however, warned against using the drug for Covid-19.