2.26.2013

Ugandan Girl 19, Makes Deworming Tablets

"My dream is to become a veterinary doctor but I am also an emerging innovator," says Christine Nanalukwago, the girl behind the research which might lead to discovery of locally-made deworming tablets.  Nanalukwago, 19, currently a senior six student at Kitante Hill School says she hatched the idea of coming up with a solution to parasitic worms in children while staying with her grandmother.
“My grandmother used to give us dried pawpaw seeds to chew when we were still young but we didn’t know the use. But one day, she told us that they expel worms from our bodies,” she says.  Nalukwago says she became inquisitive after her grandma’s revelation and when she joined secondary school where she has access to laboratories, she chose to carry her research forward.  “At first, the results were not good but I kept on trying,” says Nalukwago, who offers Physics, Chemistry, Agriculture and sub-Math as a subject combination.
How it is done
Nalukwago says some of the substances she mixes to develop the ‘drug’ includes; dried pawpaw seeds, sugar and cassava flour or banana flour.
“I mix them in equal quantity and leave them in a clean open place to concentrate. Sometimes the whole process takes a week when there is enough sunshine or two weeks when there is little sunshine,” Nalukwago explains.  She says after final tests in the laboratory, she tried the drug on a worm and it died instantly.  

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