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It was all pomp, pageantry and relief when The Center of Awareness finally launched the COA FS product at the College of Arts and Science in Accra.
The event showcased COA FS as a very efficacious herbal remedy that helps to combat many diseases that fights against the human body. In an expose on the product, the Executive President of The Center of Awareness, Dr. Samuel Ato Duncan, urged persons living with HIV/AIDS not to abandon their antiretroviral medications while taking the COA FS but to take the latter as an immune booster to quicken the process of repressing the viral loads and their CD4 counts.
He said the product had been approved by the Food and Drugs Authority and the Centre for Plant Medicine Research, Mampong as safe.
He said that various analysis of COA FS undertaken by the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, the Mampong Centre for Plant Medicine Research, the University of Cape Coast and the KwaZulu Natal University in South Africa had all indicated that the product contains components that support the immune system which had been compromised by ailments and diseases including Tuberculosis and Hepatitis B.
“COA FS therefore supports the immune system which has been compromised to resist attack from destructive organisms like bacteria, viruses and parasites. It is useful as a supplement for patients receiving orthodox medication for such diseases”
Dr. Duncan used the occasion to announce the new product named COA 72, being developed by the Center for the potential cure for HIV/AIDS and called on stakeholders in the scientific sector to help develop the medicine through the use of international scientific protocols. He said already, further research done on the COA 72 had indicated that dramatic viral repression of the HIV virus while other analysis on its toxicity by renowned institutions had also proven that the medicine has the potential of treating HIV.
“What we are doing is to complement the work of the Ghana Aids Commission. We are here for a process that can find lasting solutions to the people living with HIV,”Dr. Duncan said. He added that Ghana is poised to do further work on this product to come out with “proper scientific data using international standard protocols to say it works so that the World Health Organisation can accept it for the treatment of HIV/AIDS”.
The Acting Director-General of the Ghana Aids Commission, said until the antiretroviral drug was introduced to manage HIV, the Commission had promoted and supported the use of herbal medicine in hospitals to manage the virus and “so we are not against herbal medicine”.
He said that the Commission has started collaborating with the Center of Awareness on the possible evaluation of COA products and to establish whether they have any activity that would lead to product development.
Mr. Attuahene stated that the Commission has decided to work with various stakeholders in the country to have an independent scientific assessment or evaluation in aid of finding its efficacy for HIV treatment.
He added that the lack of funds for the development of drugs coupled with the Commission’s mandate which did not include drug development restricted it not to develop medication. He said the Commission could play a facilitative role to bring the relevant institutions together to have an independent evaluation of the COA product to establish whether they have any activity of efficacy on the HIV related diseases.
A Senior lecturer at the KwaZulu Natal University, South Africa, Dr. Nlootoo, said studies done by his University had proven that many of the nationals who were HIV positive were using the COA products as a main treatment drug or supplements to make them stay alive.
Other speakers including the President of the Ghana Federation of Herbal Practitioners Association, Mr. Kojo Eduful, a Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, Professor Ben Adu Djan. Both speakers reiterated the need for Ghana to partner the COA producer, Dr. Samuel Ato Duncan, to develop the relevant international standards protocols that would boost the COA 72 as a cure for HIV/AIDS.