In an interview with Uganda Radio Network this morning, Dr. Jimmy Opigo who heads the Malaria Control Programme at the Ministry of Health said promoting Artavol as prevention for malaria is wrong because the properties from which it’s made can only stay in the blood for a very short time something that puts its users at risk of resistance to artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT).
The Ministry of Health has asked the Uganda Communications
Commission (UCC) to withdraw an advert of an antimalarial beverage called
In an advert, popular radio personality Crystal Newman is
featured taking the tea, containing a beverage which they say helps in the prevention of malaria,
frequent fevers and building people’s immune systems to fight disease.
It is said to have ingredients including avocado seed,
Artemisia annua plant and lemongrass which with regular intake can reduce
chances of being hospitalized with malaria by up to 80 per cent.
But during an interview with Uganda Radio Network (URN) this morning, Dr
Jimmy Opigo who heads the Malaria Control Programme at the Ministry of Health said
promoting Artavol as prevention for malaria is wrong. He adds that the properties
from which artavol is made can only stay in the blood for a very short time something
that puts its users at risk of resistance to artemisinin-based combination
While the advert continues running on various media platforms
including Major TV stations, Opigo said that they had indicated to UCC to have
it pulled down immediately.
// Cue in: “The artavol advert ….
Cue out: ….. two months.”//
He says the World Health Organisation has warned against the use
of artemisinin components in prevention even though he notes that a lot of
people might be using the herb irregularly because the plant is widely grown largely
in parts of Kabale and Kabarole.
In the early 2000s, growing of artemisinin plant was being
promoted preparing for the establishment of a pharmaceutical plant for ACTs that didn’t
When asked whether the beverage was approved for use by the
National Drug Authority, Public Relations Officer Fredrick Ssekyana couldn’t confirm
that it was although he mentioned that it’s their mandate to have such
regulated and to verify any promotional messages that come with it to ensure
that the public is not misled.