Durban - The University of Free State’s (UFS) Department of African Medicines Innovation and Technology Development Platform (AMITD) will play host to international and African visitors on Friday to look at how traditional medicine can be used to treat Covid-19.
Delegates from the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Africa Centres for Disease Control Prevention and the European and Developing Countries Clinical Trials Partnership will visit UFS and three clinical trial centres.
The AMITD is funded by the Department of Science and Innovation (DSI).
According to UFS, the visit is a vote of confidence in the research and development of traditional medicines by the Indigenous Knowledge Systems for Health Unit in the Department of Pharmacology.
AMITD head, Professor Motlalepula Matsabisa, said the delegates would meet with researchers from preclinical phases and those on the clinical trials of herbal medicines for Covid-19, among other stops in Bloemfontein.
AMITD is the first in the Southern African region to have a research product to be given an ethics approval by Pharma Ethics and SAHPRA so it can be tested on Covid-19 patients in a clinical trial.
The clinical trials are being conducted at sites in Vereeniging, Kimberley, and Gqeberha.
"The mission will also look at best-researched products that have undergone preclinical and clinical research and are produced locally so that they can be recommended for endorsement by the WHO.
“At the end of the mission, a report will be produced and presented to the WHO, the Department of Health, and all stakeholders, and made available to the WHO headquarters in Geneva,” Matsabisa said.
The level of scientific research conducted was also in the spotlight earlier this month after it was announced that a BOOTES 6 robotic telescope had been installed at the Boyden Observatory in Bloemfontein.
The telescope is able to examine short bursts of gamma-radiation that occur in the distant parts of the galaxy.
It is one of seven telescopes that are placed at research facilities across the world and is the only one in Africa.