By Monica Kobusiinge
Kampala: The Minister for Health Dr.Jane Ruth Aceng has today Wednesday, 16 September, 2020 launched the randomized clinical trials for use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma (CCP) for treatment of the pandemic in Uganda.
The Minister said 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 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 trials, 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 the deadly pandemic especially among severe and critical forms.
Currently, Uganda has over 5,000 cumulative confirmed cases of Covid-19 with 58 deaths ever since the pandemic was declared earlier this year.