General News of Monday, 25 August 2003

Source: GNA

No Herbal cure for HIV/AIDS - GRAFTRAM

Accra, Aug. 25, GNA - The Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners (GHAFTRAM) on Monday admitted that there is no herbal preparation that can cure HIV/AIDS.

"Our preparations can not fight the virus, it can only control the infections associated with the dreadful disease", Dr Anthony Normeshie (rpt Normeshie), President of GHAFTRAM told the Ghana News Agency in an interview in Accra.

This put to rest the controversy surrounding claims by some herbalists that they have a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Dr Normeshie said it was an established fact that many herbalists have little or no knowledge about the disease and "this makes it very difficult for practitioners to counsel or educate their clients". He said the Ghana AIDS Commission would assist 35 members of GHAFTRAM to carry out a thorough research into the formula of their herbal preparations at the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR).

Dr Normeshie said members would only accept this offer if they were granted patent rights or the necessary compensation was paid to them.

"We would object to the terms of the agreement if it does not favour us".

Dr Normershie appealed to the government to assist the Association to improve on the efficacy of its products to help cut down cost on the importation of Anti retroviral drugs.

As at December 2002, the cumulative total reported cases of HIV-AIDS was 64,210.

The peak age group is between 25-34 with the female to male ratio as 2:1.

The nation's prevalence rate is 3.4 per cent. 25 Aug. 03