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General News of Monday, 27 October 2003

Source: Graphic

Herbal Cure For HIV/AIDS Found?

Koforidua (E/R), Oct. 27, Daily Graphic -- Preliminary results of a research project carried out by the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM) at Mampong Akuapem in the Eastern Region to assess the efficacy of herbal medicine in the cure of opportunistic infections in HIV/AIDS patients have been positive.

According to Mr Stephen Osafo-Mensah, Head of the Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology of the centre, samples of traditional medicine from five herbalists which were administered to 96 patients with full-blown AIDS have proved efficacious.

Briefing dignataries at an exhibition mounted by the centre at the Eastern Regional Cultural Week celebration last Friday, Mr Osafo-Mensah called on the government to give more attention and support to the centre to enable it to advance in the research since it had the potential to reach a cure for the disease.

He said the herbs were given to AIDS patients suffering from infections such as chronic diarrhea, chronic cough, weight loss and loss of appetite although all the patients still tested positive. He described the result so far as very positive since it came close to what he described as “expensive orthodox imported retroviral drugs which also do not cure the disease but only prolong the lifespan of patients”.

The eight-day programme organised by the Centre for National Culture, is showcasing the cultural potentials of the Eastern Region.

Mr Osafo-Mensah indicated that the samples of the five herbalists were administered to a total of 96 patients with full blown AIDS and they proved very efficacious. He said the centre studied the patients for 17 months for their reactions including side effects. He said since the completion of the study about one and a half years ago, the centre had been putting data on blood and other tests done on the patients in order to come out with a standardised report.

He indicated that it had taken them such a long time to compile the data due to the complex and expensive nature of the tests that were done and called for more support to make the project successful and sustainable.

According to him, the centre was likely to arrive at a more positive result of finding a cure for the disease, if they get more attention and support and urged officials of the Ministry of Health to have confidence in Ghanaian herbal medicine.