Scientists from Uganda’s Makerere University and the national army have launched a study to find out whether plasma from recovered coronavirus patients has an effect on those having the virus.
This is the country’s first Covid-19 convalescent plasma study.
Plasma is the clear, straw-coloured liquid portion of blood that remains after red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets and other cellular components of blood are removed.
Convalescent plasma is that taken from individuals who have recovered from an infection, and may contain antibodies against that particular disease.
The team has collected the first 162 units of plasma from donors.
The units collected had to be tested for infections, including Covid-19, HIV, Syphilis and Hepatitis, and can only qualify to be used if they are disease-free.
The researchers say that there is emerging evidence to support the use of convalescent plasma for the treatment of Covid-19, especially among severe cases.
They add that there is an urgent need to determine the efficacy of convalescent plasma.
There is currently no cure or vaccine for Covid-19.
Uganda has reported more than 5,000 cases of the virus and 58 deaths.