A group of Ghanaian doctors and ethno-botanists and their collaborators in the US have moved closer to global fame with their discovery of herbal medicines for the cure of the dreaded HIV/AIDS and Hepititis B.
The group staked their claim after 11 years of intensive research in Ghana and the US into the herbal medicines, which have proved potent in subduing the AIDS virus after several tests on some HIV infected persons in Ghana and the US.
The discovered HIV/AIDS herbal medicines are known as MAB Formula One, which kills the virus, and MAB Formula Two, which is an immune booster or immune modulator.
Although significant advances had long been made in the research, which began in 1996, the researchers had kept their discovery close to their chest until last Saturday when Dr Jacob Akumoah-Boateng, the Medical Director of MAB Medicare Centre, a private health institution in Accra, under whose auspices the research is being carried out, spilled the bean at a ceremony to commemorate the fifth anniversary of the centre.
Giving further details on the discovery later in an interview, Dr Akuamoah-Boateng said the Ministry of Health had taken samples of the herbal medicines for further scrutiny after which the group would launch them on the local and international markets.
“Even as I'm speaking now, there are a lot of patients on the medicine. There are a lot of bed-ridden patients who are now doing press-ups”, he claimed, adding that the condition of most of the patients in Ghana and the US had improved after they started using the medicine.
According to Dr Akuamoah-Boateng, the research had produced 15 postulations out of which 12 had been approved by international bodies.
He said the remaining three postulations had not been approved because there was no discovery that could be used as a basis for their approval.
Dr Akuamoah-Boateng said various tests had been done at the Korle-Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine at Mampong-Akuapem and internationally acclaimed health institutions in the U.S, such as Corning Hospital in New York and Maryland Medical Laboratory in Baltimore.
An acute toxicity test carried out at Mampong affirmed that the herbal medicines were not poisonous and had no side effects.
A report on the phytochemical analysis and safety assessment of “MAB Formula I”, carried out by the centre, said it was established in the acute toxicity studies that the laboratory animals needed to consume almost 59 times the normal adult dose (one tot or 30ml) twice daily in order to produce an acute toxic effect.
“MAB Formula I is, therefore, safe according to the dosage indicated by the manufacturer”, the report said. A similar conclusion was made by the centre on the “MAB Formula II”.
Dr Akuamoah-Boateng said the test kits used for the research were imported from a company in Germany called Boris Wellcome, which was a world leading producer of research test kits.
He explained that the research test kits under reference helped to show the presence of the virus in the blood and the detection of anti-bodies, unlike other tests which normally centred on only the detection of anti-bodies, which were the products of the virus.
Dr Akuamoah-Boateng said at the initial stages, the test was conducted on three occasions after which it was found out that the virus was no longer present in the blood, however, the anti-bodies were still present.
He said, baffled by the outcome, the group decided to carry out further research in the US where they managed to do a viral culture test, which he explained as a very specific and determined test to culture the blood at every stage of the three-prong tests.
He said at the end of that research, it was found out that the virus and the anti-bodies were missing.
According to Dr Akuamoah-Boateng, the application of orthodox medicine in the treatment of HIV/AIDS was such that although the potency of the virus reduced, the treatment could not be stopped until the death of the patient because the virus would re-emerge if the medication was stopped but that was not the case with the herbal medicine.
Earlier at the fifth anniversary of MAB Medicare Centre, a renowned broadcaster, Mr Joe Lartey, who represented the Greater Accra Regional Minister, Sheikh I. C. Quaye, advised residents of the area to eschew politics and take advantage of the National Health Insurance Scheme to benefit from free healthcare.
Story by Kofi Yeboah