May 17, 2021

Kenya plans clinical trials of three coronavirus drugs



Kenya plans to carry out clinical trials of three drugs to see if they work against the coronavirus, confirmed the principal investigator of that study, Dr. Loice Achieng Ombajo.

The project, which is part of a global initiative endorsed by the World Health Organization (WHO), foresees the development of tests in patients from this country to determine if these drugs are effective against COVID-19.

The drugs in question are Remdesivir, an antiviral drug recently approved by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA); Hydroxychloroquine Hydroxychloroquine, used to fight malaria; and lopinavir / ritonavir, used in the treatment of HIV-AIDS.

“We are still at that stage when you cannot say what really works. What we hope to do in the country is something called a clinical trial,” said Ombajo, head of the Infectious Diseases Unit at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi.

“In a clinical trial, you take a lot of patients and they are randomly assigned one treatment or another,” added the doctor, in statements collected by the Kenyan newspaper “Daily Nation.”

So far, the project has received the approval of the Ethics Committee of the University of Nairobi, but the final authorization of two national regulators is missing: the Board of Pharmacies and Pollutions and the National Council of Science, Technology and Innovation (NACOSTI).

“It may be a few weeks before we can start,” Ombajo said, also stressing the importance of informing the public about clinical trials as a previous step to voluntary participation and with the consent of the patients.

To date, the Kenyan health authorities have confirmed 535 cases, 24 deaths and 182 cures for the coronavirus.

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