- Ujiplus is a herbal formulation designed to be taken as a school meal snack for nutrition and deworming.
- Other earlier clinical trials conducted among school children in Nandi and Kirinyaga had shown the product was very effective in deworming and clearing ringworms which is common among children.
Clinical trials conducted on a deworming porridge in various schools in Kenya have found it to be highly nutritive, effective in deworming and clears child skin infections.
The Kenya Medical Research Institute in July 2021 initiated a third clinical trial of Ujiplus, a fortified herbal formulation among children infected with schistosomiasis in Mbita, Homa Bay.
The aim was to boost the elimination of roundworms and hookworms in children. Ujiplus is a herbal formulation designed to be taken as a school meal snack for nutrition and deworming.
Other earlier clinical trials conducted among school children in Nandi and Kirinyaga had shown the product was very effective in deworming and clearing ringworms which is common among children.
“Clinical trials done in various schools in Kenya indicated to be not only highly nutritive, deworms and clears child skin infections,” Kemri said in a statement.
On Saturday, Kemri officials led by the acting DG Prof Elijah Songok handed the product to the Terik community led by the Terik Council of Elders and the schools' management in the area.
The Terik community holds indigenous traditional knowledge of the product and had requested a partnership with KEMRI to support the scientific formulation and clinical trials of the product.
Ujiplus is a unique porridge with herbal deworming properties derived from the communities’ traditional herbal practices.
“We urge communities in Kenya who have unique herbal products that we can partner with to come forward and work with us,” Songok said.
“We will not take away your innovation. We are a public institution and serve communities.”
Also present were various stakeholders including officials from the Ministry of Education.
According to Kemri, schistosomiasis or bilharzia and intestinal worms (helminths) are major public health problems in Kenya and Africa.
Their highest burden is among school-aged children causing malnutrition, anaemia and retarded growth.
In 2021, Kemri noted that even though the school's deworming program has largely been successful, there is however an underlying gap.
“Children six years and below, who are the most at risk are left out of the schistosomiasis deworming campaign because there is no currently acceptable child formulation of praziquantal ( the currently available formulation is toxic to children),” Kemri said.
Bilharzia is a disease caused by parasitic worms and is considered one of the neglected tropical diseases.
The parasites that cause schistosomiasis live in certain types of freshwater snails. You can become infected when your skin comes in contact with contaminated freshwater