TEPAD Kenya has won an innovation grant from Grand Challenges Canada (GCC) to work with Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI) to develop Ujiplus™, a porridge meal (Uji) with deworming capabilities. Ujiplus™, is an invention by TEPAD Kenya and KEMRI scientists with knowledge derived from traditional deworming practices from the Terik community. The first clinical trials of Ujiplus done in schools in Terik location showed a potential to deworm children with significant reduction of intestinal worms especially roundworms ( ascaris lumbricoides ). A follow-up trial done in primary schools in Nandi Hills Location showed not only reduction in intestinal worms but also increased hemoglobin levels and clearance of ringworms (tinea capitis) among the children who took the porridge. (see scientific publication:
The Grand Challenges Canada grant is to enable TEPAD Kenya and KEMRI confirm the scientific findings through a larger clinical trial and effect of Ujiplus™ on other common worm species like Bilharzia (Schistosoma mansoni) tapeworms (hookworms) and whipworms. The grant will also allow for investigations on Ujiplus™ active ingredients, dosing period and any side effects.
“We are excited to win the Grand Challenges Canada Transition To Scale (TTS) grant” Says Elizabeth Maritim, the TEPAD Kenya Project Manager. Ujiplus promises to be a popular homegrown deworming innovation for national schools deworming programs. It has several advantages over the currently used deworming programs in Kenya Schools including its ability to boost child nutrition, clearance of ringworms and other child skin infections.”