Clinical trials on HIV/AIDS herbal preparations end

Accra- Ghana (PANA) -- Ghana has completed clinical tests on HIV/AIDS herbal preparations, Nana Offei Agyen-Tutu III, Head of the Traditional and Alternative Medicines Directorate (TAMD) of Health Ministry, said Thursday.
The findings of the research undertaken by the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine at the Okomfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi and other institutions will be made available to the Ministry of Health for a definite statement.
Five herbalists took part in the trials sponsored by UNICEF.
Even though no cure is still in sight and some 200 Ghanaians are infected everyday with the virus, some of these herbal products are said to be effective in helping infected patients build their immunity in addition to alleviating symptoms associated with the disease.
Nana Agyen-Tutu said a document on guidelines on the marketing of all herbal products for the management of HIV/AIDS has been finalised and handed over to the Ministry of Health, which is yet to give its approval for distribution.
A team of scientists, traditional medical practitioners and officials of the ministry and TAMD formulated the guidelines following claims by traditional medical practitioners that they had the cure for HIV/AIDS.
Some of these claims, which have been advertised, have raised concerns from health officials and other regulating bodies that the claims were undermining control and preventive measures.
The guidelines address areas of concern, including intellectual property rights for traditional medical practitioners, funding by government, safety assessment of herbal drugs and the selection of patients for the clinical testing of herbal medicines.
Senegal is to host an international conference on traditional medicine and HIV/AIDS in July 2002.
The conference is part of the efforts by health officials and other stakeholders world wide to integrate traditional medical practice into mainstream health care.

26 july 2001 20:56:00

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