Public lecture on Forests and Health held

In line with this year’s theme for International Day of Forests, “Forests and health”, Nature Uganda organized a public lecture to discuss the topic  “Forests as a resource and potential solution to human health.”

One of the keynote speakers of the event was none other than Professor Patrick Engeu Ogwang, also known as Prof Covidex. Prof Ogwang is a renowned scientist, researcher, and innovator who has made significant contributions to the field of medicine.

During the lecture, Prof Ogwang spoke about the importance of forests as a resource and their potential to provide solutions to human health challenges. He highlighted the fact that forests are home to a vast array of plant and animal species, many of which have medicinal properties.

In particular, Prof Ogwang discussed his research on the plant known as Artemisia annua, which has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine as a treatment for malaria. He explained how he was able to extract the active ingredient from the plant and use it to develop a new drug, known as Covidex, which has been shown to be effective in the treatment of COVID-19. In addition to Covidex, Prof Ogwang spoke about the potential of other forest- based products, such as honey and beeswax, to provide health benefits. He also emphasized the importance of sustainable forest management practices, which can help to ensure that these resources are preserved for future generations.

Esther Katuura, Ph.D., was another keynote speaker at the public lecture. She is a renowned scientist and researcher who has made significant contributions to the field of biotechnology. Dr. Katuura spoke about the potential of biotechnology to harness the power of natural resources, including those found in forests, to address human health challenges. She highlighted the fact that biotechnology can be used to extract potent compounds from plant and animal species found in forests, which can then be used to develop new drugs and therapies.

The lecture was attended by a diverse audience, including members of the scientific community, policymakers, and members of the general public. The event provided an opportunity for participants to engage in a meaningful discussion about the importance of conservation and sustainable management practices and also served as a reminder of the incredible potential of natural resources to provide solutions to some of the most pressing health challenges facing our world today.