National Drug Authority ( NDA) has disapproved a proposal by school heads suggesting that learners should be allowed to report back with Covidex, a local drug used to treat COVID-19-related complications.
Covidex is a drug that was recently invented by Prof. Patrick Ogwang from Mbarara University of Science and Technology (MUST). Covidex was approved by NDA as a supportive treatment drug for Covid-19 infections.
While attending a virtual meeting with Ministry of Education and Sports on Monday, school heads proposed that each student should be required to report back with three bottles of Covidex to assist in treatment incase they notice symptoms of covid-19.
The suggestion made by Martin Okiria, the National Chairman of the Association of Secondary School Head Teachers of Uganda (ASSHTU), was welcomed by several stakeholders, including some officials from the Ministry of Education.
NDA has however warned that there are dire consequences of allowing learners to report back with the drug when they are not sick.
Abiaz Rwamwiri, the Public Relations Officer (PRO at NDA said that Covidex is a drug that was approved to support treatment of covid-19 infections but not for prevention.
“Forcing children to buy Covidex when they are not sick promotes unsafe drug use. We remind the public that drugs should not be treated as snacks,” Rwamwiri said.
“We want to warn schools and parents that this proposal has significant safety implications relating to misuse, overuse, poor storage, unsupervised,” he added.
Rwamwiri further warns that the learners who are not sick might take Covidex which will create more problems than it had been intended to solve.