The regional expert committee on the traditional medicine for the novel coronavirus or COVID-19 set up jointly by the WHO, the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention and the African Union Commission for social affairs has endorsed a protocol for the phase III clinical trials of the herbal medication for the disease, as per the WHO on Saturday.

"Just like other areas of medicine, sound science is the sole basis for safe and effective traditional medicine therapies," WHO regional office for the Africa universal health coverage and life course cluster director Dr. Prosper Tumusiime mentioned in a statement.

"The onset of Covid-19, like the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, has highlighted the need for strengthened health systems and accelerated research and development programs, including on traditional medicines," Tumusiime added as reported by IOL.

Traditional Medication for COVID-19

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The technical documents that were endorsed are aimed to empower and develop a critical mass of technical capacity of researchers in the continent to conduct proper clinical trials and ensure the quality, safety, efficacy of the traditional medicines.

The trials were important for assessing the safety and efficacy of the products. The data safety and monitoring board would make sure that the studies are reviewed properly and will make recommendations. If a traditional medicine product is found to be meeting all the necessary requirements then the WHO will recommend large-scale manufacturing, Tumusiime said.

He noted that with the help of the African Vaccine Regulatory Forum there was now a benchmark that assists the clinical trials of medicines and vaccines in the region. "The adoption of the technical documents will ensure that universally acceptable clinical evidence of the efficacy of herbal medicines for the treatment of COVID-19 are generated without compromising the safety of participants," the chairman of the committee Professor Motlalepula Gilbert Matsabisa said in the statement.

The professor expressed his hope regarding the clinical trial. The 25-member committee was given the responsibility to support countries to enhance research and development of the traditional medicines against the virus and give guidance regarding rthe approved protocols. The deadly virus outbreak has created a major stir around the world in recent times infecting more than 30.5 million people worldwide and claimed the lives of over 953,000 people in over 170 countries.