Home » Education » University of Zimbabwe in TB, Albinism Drugs Breakthrough

The University of Zimbabwe is developing drugs that increase absorption of tuberculosis medication and help people living with albinism, an official has said.

UZ pharmaceutical department lecturer Mr Joey Chifamba said this while addressing the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Higher and Tertiary Education in Harare on Wednesday.

“We are doing everything under a restricted environment and we have the hope of patenting the drugs we are currently developing … Through nano-technology the drug will enhance absorption of few TB drugs by the patient and they will mainly concentrate on the disease in the lungs than to take many drugs. A patient will take fewer drugs, which minimises the dosage of medication and the mortality rate,” said Mr Chifamba. He said they were also developing a drug that would assist people living with albinism.

“People with albinism have been using sun screen lotions which are leisure creams used by Europeans when going for holidays. We incorporated zinc and titanium from natural sources and indigenous trees and they are crucial and suitable for people with albinism in tropical areas.”

UZ College of Health Sciences’ Professor Charles Maponga said they were developing several drugs in a harsh economic environment and these would be patented.

“We produce at least 65 pharmacists every year who all rely on one laboratory. We were once promised US$5 million by the Japanese government but that faltered after an embargo was imposed on the country and we are doing all we can. We require US$300 000 to buy critically required research equipment although the Zimsec Aanced Level syllabus does not encompass nanotechnology which differs from that of Cambridge. We need to fully utilise the medicinal values in our indigenous plants,” he said.

Prof Maponga said they were conducting workshops for A-Level teachers and herbalists on nanotechnology.

Source : The Herald