COVID-19 General

Watch: Professor Samba Sow addresses WHO press conference

On Wednesday 11 August 2021, Professor Samba Sow, Director General of CVD-Mali, had the pleasure of addressing the WHO’s press conference to introduce the global Solidarity PLUS trial.

Solidarity PLUS is a new, large-scale study to trial new therapeutics to combat COVID-19 and prevent deaths in patients hospitalized and suffering severe cases of the disease.

You can read more about the Solidarity PLUS trial here.

COVID-19 General

CVD-Mali joins global WHO Solidarity trial

CVD-Mali and the Malian government are delighted to be taking part in WHO’s global trial of new therapeutic treatments for COVID-19.

The Solidarity PLUS trial for promising drugs will be conducted in 52 countries worldwide and is an unprecedented global collaboration for COVID-19 research and development.

The Solidarity therapeutics trial will recruit patients in hospital with COVID-19 in order to test three new drugs.

The therapies were selected by an independent expert panel and have the potential to reduce mortality rates as a result of COVID-19. The three treatments – artesunate, imatinib and infliximab – are established treatments for other diseases. Artesunate is prescribed for severe malaria, imatinib is used to treat certain cancers, and infliximab is often used to treat conditions like Crohn’s Disease and rheumatoid arthritis.

All trial drugs were donated by the manufacturers.

Reacting to the news that Mali would play a central role in the Solidarity PLUS trial, Prof Samba Sow said, “Trials such as the Solidarity PLUS therapeutics trial by WHO are critical.

This increased capacity will ensure we are well placed in Africa to carry on developing the drugs and vaccines that are so necessary – now and in the future.

Prof Samba Sow

“In my career, in vaccine development and research, I have seen the capacity of African researchers and they have a contribution to make now more than ever in solving this puzzle for Africa and the world.

“I am very grateful to WHO and other partners for seeing this opportunity to build capacity and for investment to do so. This increased capacity will ensure we are well placed in Africa to carry on developing the drugs and vaccines that are so necessary – now and in the future.”

The Solidarity PLUS trial is one of the biggest ever global collaborations of its kind, confirming what Prof Sow and the other WHO Special Envoys have long been saying – namely that until everyone is safe from disease, and Covid-19 in particular, no one is.

“In the fight against infectious diseases, a country – even a continent – cannot succeed alone. We will only succeed if we stand and work together,” Professor Sow said.

Click here to watch Prof Sow address the press conference introducing the WHO Solidarity PLUS therapeutics trial, introduced by WHO Director General, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus.