Experts who were members of a joint mission of the regional consultative committee (made up of the World Health Organisation (WHO), the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the African Union Commission) that visited the DR Congo from March 21 to 31, 2022, have saluted the efforts of the country in the area of research on traditional treatments for the virus.
“The big interest here is that knowledge acquired from this visit could be utilised in ameliorating research on the clinical tests carried out with a view to tackling the next waves of COVID-19,” WHO experts said.
“However, the way in which the data had been analysed and presented has not permitted the generation of such proofs. Besides, the data gathered and the observational studies underway in the country could contribute to the documentation of plans for risk management linked to the products.”
The experts have congratulated the DR Congo saying it had demonstrated “a high level of political engagement for the promotion and development of traditional medicine.”
This engagement favours the search for therapeutic agents based on traditional medicine against the COVID-19 and other priority illnesses.
“We call on the national authorities to accelerate the operationalization of the national authority for regulation with a view to supporting the local industry towards excellence in manufacturing,” the experts said.
“The country must equally develop a legal framework for the protection of intellectual property rights and traditional medicine knowledge.”
“A sustained effort must be furnished to integrate training lessons on the clinical trials of traditional medicine in the educational programmes on science and health.”
The team that visited the DR Congo had as main objectives, the evaluation of progress realised by the country in the development of traditional medicines proposed for the treatment of COVID-19 and to identify the challenges and opportunities as well as the domains for the reinforcement of national capacities for the elaboration of a plan of action with the technical support of the WHO.
It is also to help countries document and accelerate the process of research and development of their products, the WHO, in collaboration with the African Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the African Union Commission for Social Affairs in July 2020 created the Regional Consultative Committee of Experts on Traditional Medicine to respond to the coronavirus.
The committee was created to accelerate research and development by applying the standards in the conduct of clinical trials of therapeutic medicines with a traditional base for COVID-19, by bringing together expertise on multicentric studies.
The Regional Consultative Committee of Experts on Traditional Medicine also furnishes independent scientific advice and support to generate data on the security, efficacy of the therapeutic quality while creating conditions to consolidate data in the African region.
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