Dengue is one of the most common and deadliest diseases affecting many people from children to oldies not just in the Philippines but all over the world. What makes it harder for dengue patients is that there is no medicine that is directed into curing the disease.
Fortunately, after over seven years of study and research, the first anti-dengue drug in the world may soon be released and become available in the market. Plus, it is proudly made by Filipinos!
“It’s not a vaccine, it’s not a herbal supplement. It is a drug that has activity against the virus,” Dr. Rita Grace Alvero said in a report by GMA News.
“So parang sinasabi natin na pag ininom ito ng pasyente, gagaling ‘yung kanyang signs and symptoms. So i-cure niya talaga yung dengue,” (So, we can say that if a patient takes the medicine, the signs and symptoms he is feeling will heal. This means that the medicine can really cure dengue.) she added.
Alvero also said that the product was created to help the public.
“Nung ginawa namin ‘to, ang naisip talaga namin para tumulong so ‘yung cost dito would be less than the cost ng ginagamit ng isang pasyente kung siya ay may mild na dengue pag siya ay mag co-consult sa clinic or mas lalo siyang mas mababa kaysa sa mga pasyente na nag-punta sa hospital para magpa-confine,” (The aim of making this medicine is not just to cure dengue but also help lessen the cost in treating it especially the need for patients to be confined before they are given medicine.) Alvero said.
Dengue cases in the country rose by 86% from 222,849 cases recorded in January 1 to November 30, 2018 to 414,532 cases in 2019. Casualty cases also rose from 1,122 in the same span of time in 2018 to 1,546 in 2019.
The rising dengue cases in the country inspired Alvero to create a counter drug in 2012. Alvero then led a Filipino team to complete the product. The drug is made from tree herbs or endemic plants, which are native to the country.
In the first phase of testing, they were able to prove that the drug was safe and there were no seen side effects. However, it will undergo more tests for the next six months to determine its effectiveness.
Despite this, Alvero maintained that the drug is 100% effective against dengue even for patients who already have complications. For its part, the Department of Health (DOH) also expressed their belief in the drug’s potential to solve the dengue problem in the country.
“Kasi hindi naman nila itutuloy to the phase 2 and 3 clinical trials ‘yan kung hindi mag-mukhang maganda yung resulta. Mukhang very promising naman talaga siya,” (Clinical tests will not proceed to phase 2 and 3 if the results aren’t promising, and as far as we know, clinical tests done in the past months were all successful.) DOH Undersecretary Eric Domingo said.
Sponsored by the Department of Science and Technology, the research is also a part of the Tuklas Lunas program of the agency which aims to create new drugs for diseases often afflicting the Filipinos.
This is indeed a welcome innovation, especially that Dengue has been rampant in our country. Plus, the release of this medicine will also bring glory to Filipino researchers who render their time and effort into creating this legendary discovery.