TDRC Director Dr Ray Handema, who is also the Principal Investigator of the SF2000 clinical trial explained that despite the phase 1 clinical trial results showing that SF2000SD was safe and tolerable, a phase 2 clinical trial meant to assess the efficacy of SF2000SD in HIV infected individuals could not proceed due budgetary constraints. Dr. Handema revealed that about K8 million was needed for the Centre to carry out the phase 2 clinical trial. The Committee however, pledged to support TDRC by lobbying for increased funding for the Centre to enable it to be ready to respond to emerging diseases and disease outbreaks such as COVID -19, Cholera, Influenza, Ebola and others.
Meanwhile, TDRC Director Dr. Gershom Chongwe appealed to the Committee to support the repeal and replacement of the TDRC Act. He was hopeful that that the bill would be ready and could to be presented to Parliament in the next sitting. Dr. Chongwe explained that the Centre’s research activities have diversified from the initial tropical diseases for which it was created to include diseases and conditions that are relevant to current health needs, yet the TDRC Act has not been updated since 1982.