Wednesday, 15 June 2022 10:57

WHO technical team visit SA to assess traditional medicine for treating Covid-19.

By Lehlohonolo Lehana.

Higher Education, Science and Innovation Minister, Dr Blade Nzimande, has welcomed the visit by the World Health Organisation (WHO) technical team on traditional medicines to South Africa.

A panel of experts from the World Health Organisation focussing on Traditional African Medicines is visiting South Africa led by the WHO Regional office for Africa.

The technical mission includes officials from the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership, the African Union Commission, and the WHO Regional Expert Advisory Committee on Traditional Medicine for COVID-19 Response (REACT).

The WHO REACT has been visiting African countries that are conducting clinical trials on African Herbal Medicines for COVID-19, and these include Madagascar, Nigeria, Ghana, Senegal and Uganda.

Apart from Tanzania, South Africa is one of the two countries in the African Region conducting multicentre clinical trials.

Nzimande said the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI), has made significant investment in using traditional African medicine against COVID-19, and the investment has seen significant research being conducted.

"Two multi-herbal formulations and three mono-herbs reached essential pre-clinical stages, PHELA, was approved by the South African Health Products Regulatory Authority (SAHPRA) for clinical trials," Nzimande said.

WHO will visit among others these clinical trial sites and will also visit the African Medicines Health Research Unit of the University of the Free State (UFS), funded by Science and Innovation.

At the end of the mission, a report will be produced, and presented to WHO and relevant stakeholders.