David Ssenfuka, a Kasubi-based herbalist, has put his cancer treatment on hold, claiming dissatisfaction and sabotage as reasons.
Ssenfuka told a news conference that the Uganda Cancer Institute-UCI had threatened him and the professional medical professionals with whom he had partnered for cancer and diabetes research, forcing him to reveal the composition of his concoction or cease dispensing the drug.
Furthermore, he claims that the laboratories he has been utilizing to examine samples before making treatment decisions have begun rejecting referrals from his Leonia NNN Medical Research and Diagnostics Centre, leaving him no choice except to seek help from outside the nation.
He claims, however, that he has written to Rwanda, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, requesting assistance in developing his innovation because efforts to legalize his herbal remedies and transfer them into internationally accepted medicine are dragging.
Ssenfuka’s herbal ‘cure’ for cancer and diabetes had been in use under a community use classification until yesterday. Although studies on mice conducted by the Natural Chemotherapeutics Institute revealed that they have some curative properties, no clinical trials have been conducted to establish their safety and efficacy in humans.
While he will continue to monitor those who have already been given the herb in the future, Ssenfuka says they will not be enrolling more patients in cancer therapy until the government gives the green light or human clinical trials begin, as efforts to get emergency use approvals, such as for COVID-19 therapies like Covidex, or any assistance with speeding up the research process have failed.
Ssenfuka wrote to the cancer institution on March 12, 2020, outlining how he was providing medicine at a rudimentary level without any scientific guidelines in terms of dosage and preservatives, according to a document obtained by URN. He claims that at the time he wrote to the institute, requesting scientific expertise and assistance, he had
Despite the fact that patients have been pouring into his center since then, he has never received a response from the national cancer referral and research center.
When URN brought this up with UCI officials, they indicated they had never heard from the herbalists and had no dealings with him so far. Instead, Public Relations Officer Christine Namulindwa directed the reporter to the National Drug Authority (NDA).
However, NDA’s Public Relations Officer, Abias Rwamwiri, claims that Ssenfuka’s team was advised three weeks ago on what they need to start completing clinical trials in order to get permissions for large-scale production.
Rwamwiri stressed that the corporation never prevented him from visiting patients as part of the deal.
Meanwhile, as Uganda joined the rest of the globe in commemorating World Cancer Day on Friday, Dr. Nixon Niyonzima, the head of UCI’s research section, told URN that many of his patients are taking herbal treatments in addition to their chemotherapy.
He claims they can observe this in the toxicity tests they perform. He pleaded with the government to assist herbalists like Ssenfuka in developing their medicines to the point where the dosage can be determined and the amount of toxicity can be predicted.