Ghana goes herbal to fight COVID-19

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The Centre for Plant Medicine Research at Mampong Akuapem in the Eastern Region is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in research to find a herbal solution for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

No cure has been found for the dreadful disease which has caged many countries since it came to the world’s attention in December last year. It is against this background that the CPMR is leveraging its expertise and knowledge in herbal medicine to discover a potential herbal cure for the disease.

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The Executive Director of the CPMR, Dr Kofi Bobi Barimah, said his outfit was currently working on a number of herbal preparations it had received from the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Associations (GHAFTRAM), some of which had already been approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA).

In an interview with the Daily Graphic at Mampong-Akuapem, he said after undertaking a thorough research on the herbal preparations, the centre would forward those that received approval to the Ministry of Health for trials in consonance with safety protocols.

He said if the trials proved successful, Ghana would become one of the first countries in the world to have found a cure for COVID-19 using herbal medicine.

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Dr Barimah added: “If management of COVID-19 with a Ghanaian herbal product should prove successful and effective, not only would it bring the much-needed relief to the fight against the pandemic but it would also earn the nation international recognition and eventually help it accrue huge foreign exchange earnings.”

He emphasised all the same that there was no herbal cure for COVID-19 anywhere in the world currently and that the CPMR was working hard to ‘break the glass ceiling’.

Immune boosters

That notwithstanding, he said there were some herbal products that were strong and could boost one’s immune system to fight the disease.

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He said herbal clinics had been attached to some hospitals in the country to treat some sicknesses that defied orthodox medicine.

Dr Barimah who has authored a book titled, “Traditional Medicine in Ghana”, said there was enough literature out there to educate people on the potency of herbal medicine.

Caution against ‘akpeteshie’

He cautioned the public against using the locally brewed gin, popularly called ‘akpeteshie’, as hand sanitiser since that had not been tried and tested.

He said the centre was in the process of producing an alcohol-based hand sanitiser that would be sold in the open market for all persons to access.

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“It is important, all the same, to note that the best option for hand hygiene is thorough washing of hands with soap under running water,” he added.

Dr Barimah appealed to the government, corporate organisations and benevolent institutions and individuals to assist the centre with resources, including money, to enable it to enhance its research capabilities and find a cure for COVID-19.

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