President Yoweri Museveni has praised the country’s scientists for innovating in the fight against Covid-19 at a US health conference.
He said that Ugandan scientists played a pivotal role by incorporating traditional and modern medicine thus coming up with a solution that only saved lives in the country but also across the border.
Museveni made the remarks at a health session held under the theme “Building Resilience for Healthy People, Healthy Countries” at the Washington Convention Center on Tuesday.
He said during the pandemic, Professor Patrick Ogwang crossmatched an ancient anti-viral plant product that the people in the North Eastern part of Uganda have been using since time immemorial against Measles which is caused by the virus Rubeola, with the treatment for Covid-19 which saved many lives.
Museveni said Uganda was able to contain the spread of COVID-19 which ravaged the rest of the world through the efforts of such scientists.
He cited another innovation, an anti-tick vaccine that has been developed by Ugandans.
Museveni called for more collaboration between Uganda and the US especially in pharmaceuticals and vaccines research. He noted that with its rich biodiversity, Uganda and Africa are better placed to produce many of the pharmaceuticals on account of the plants that they have on the continent.
He said collaboration would go a long way to ensure cheaper medicines and vaccines.
“There are two areas where we are moving on our own, but where we would welcome collaboration if available. This is in vaccines and pharmaceuticals. It is not correct to continue with the present arrangement where, in the global share of pharmaceutical production of USD 1.42 trillion, Africa’s share is only USD 16 billion,” he said.
The president was also commended over his successful fight against the Covid-19 pandemic and the Ebola outbreak in Uganda at the on-going US-Africa Leaders’ Summit.