Kenya nears approval of Covid-19 drug trials

Rashid Aman
Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya is set to approve clinical trial for repurposed drugs under the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) Solidarity Study, joining the international effort to find a Covid-19 cure.

Ministry of Health Chief Administrative Secretary Rashid Aman said Tuesday the government was in the final stages of setting the rules for conducting the clinical trials for the drugs recommended by the WHO.

“These trials have not kicked off in Kenya because we have a procedure for approving clinical trials that we follow. That process is ongoing and will be approved very soon, after which we will go ahead to recruit patients who are in these facilities for this study,” said Dr Aman.

“Some countries have already moved forward and some level of data is out. The solidarity trials are meant to collect as much information as possible across the globe.”

Those selected for trials include the Remdesivir, previously tested as an Ebola, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERs-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) treatment drug.


Others are Liponavir/Ritonavir used to treat HIV with beta-1a and Hydroxychloroquine used to treat and prevent malaria. Hydroxychloroquine has since been withdrawn as a treatment drug for Covid-19 by the WHO.

Dr Aman disclosed the plan to start the clinical trials at a media briefing in Nairobi on Tuesday while confirming 62 new Covid-19 cases, bringing the national tally to 1,348.

Recoveries now stand at 405 after three more people were discharged from hospital.

Countries enrolled on the WHO study will be required to continuously administer specific drugs on certain groups of patients.

The final and comprehensive findings of the study will be published in March 2021.

On Monday, the WHO put a “temporary pause” on the use of Hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 due to safety concerns.