A group of elders has called for quick processing of herbal remedies that have shown progress in treating cancer and diabetes owing to the high and increasing burden of these non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in Uganda.
The elders who have either battled or had close family members who have suffered from the two ailments welcomed a recent move by President Museveni to express support for the development into a drug recognized globally of a concoction made by renowned herbalist David Ssenfuka.
Samuel Wako Wambuzi, the former chief justice told journalists that it’s about time Uganda started focusing on having local innovations in healthcare prepared to standards acceptable the world over since they are proving to work. He was attending a meeting in which the herbalist was unveiling members of the board of LeonBiotec Foundation that was started to conduct research and create awareness about cancer and diabetes.
He said his wife succumbed to cancer and his 9-year-old granddaughter is battling diabetes which is why he is joining the awareness efforts.
Other members of the board that is chaired by former minister of Science and Technology Dr Elioda Tumwesigye include former Makerere University vice chancellor Prof John Ddumba-Ssentamu, former Buganda Kingdom prime minister Joseph Mulwanyamuli Ssemwogerere, former Buganda minister Dennis Walusimbi, Kyambogo University deputy vice-chancellor, Prof Goretti Musoke, Makerere University senior lecturer at the college of public health Dr Edith Nakku and Uganda Management Institute director Dr Kasozi Mulindwa.
Joshua Buyinza the corporate affairs officer at Leonia-NNN-Diagnostic and Research Centre, which Ssenfuka leads, said elders have joined the awareness campaign as a sign of solidarity that the battle against these killer diseases cannot be fought by trained medics alone but with a mix of expertise and experiences noting that they shouldn’t be mistaken to be against the effectiveness of conventional medicine.
"These elders are here to remind us of our novelty, it is to consciously move without losing the sensitivity that no one can battle alone. We’re not here to refresh us of the frailty and fallibility of our consciousness and subconscious minds but are here to repose the clout of the dominant species we have and for the unlimited space to conquer and awake of drumming up support of an accredited process of international certification of cancer and diabetic cure. They are here to route support not only for cancer and diabetic cure but for funds to accelerate and fast track the drug development of a cancer and diabetic cure," said Buyinza.
On his part, former parliamentarian and educationist Kasole Bwerere testified that he has taken Ssenfuka’s concoction for a year and feels much better and relieved since before he had travelled to India and Nairobi seeking care for prostate cancer but didn’t get any significant improvement.
Now, he says an MRI scan done recently showed his tumours were shrinking and his energy is now restored.
"Personally I'm a victim of cancer, I was. Ssenfuka has cured me. Secondly 2019 my wife lost the battle because of cancer and, thirdly I remember I was in parliament during the 8th or 9th. There was a very strong proposal by the health committee that we should support herbal and we went very far to propose to government and we wanted the government to enact a law that could facilitate such may be the treatment of cancer mainly. Since I left I have not seen any enactment of the law to that effect," said Bwerere.
While still in parliament he said, they had discussions on proposals that herbal medicine like Ssenfuka’s be regulated and recognized specifying centres where people could find such care. He notes though ever since he left parliament, he hasn’t heard anything more about the proposal.
For now, however, while Ssenfuka’s herbal medicines have received several endorsements by users, they are only being used on a community medicine basis as approvals and tests for mass use by the National Drug Authority are yet to be done. The herbalist is only preparing for clinical trials to test the efficacy of the medicine in humans since animal studies have proved it to have curative properties.