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05.09.2004 Regional News

Medical officer advises HIV patients against use of concoctions

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Kumasi, Sept. 5, GNA - A medical practitioner has strongly advised people who have been diagnosed HIV positive against resorting to the use of concoctions and herbal preparations from shrines and herbalists in their fruitless attempt to seek cure for the disease.

Dr. Thomas Agyarko-Poku, Senior Medical Officer in-charge of the HIV/AIDS/ Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) clinic at the Suntreso Government Hospital, who gave the advice said such a move could only compound the health situation of the HIV patient.

Dr. Agyarko-Poku gave the advice in an interview with the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi at the weekend, on the current state of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in the Ashanti Region.

He explained that, such concoctions and herbal preparations only deprive the patients of food, an ingredient vital for the management of the disease.

He said since concoctions and most of the herbal preparations deny the patient of food and various crucial nutrients, it quickens the pace of death of such an HIV patient.

Dr. Agyarko-Poku also denounced claims by some spiritual churches of having cure for HIV/AIDS and who clandestinely administer various substances to the patient, along side compelling the patient to fast for longer periods.

"The long duration of fasting also facilitates the death of the patient and should be discouraged at all levels", he stressed.

Dr Agyarko-Poku said reports and observations indicate that, because HIV patients have the wrong believe that they could seek treatment through shrines and spiritual churches, they therefore fail to visit the hospital for counselling and treatment of minor ailments, they now tend to die earlier than expected.

He said it is obvious from analysis and observations that, those who accepted the situation and attended hospital regularly for counselling, lived much longer, and therefore appealed to all those diagnosed HIV positive not to shy away from the hospital, and seek treatment any where, since there is yet no known cure for the pandemic.

Dr. Agyarko-poku advised the media to desist from advertising claims of spiritual churches and groups of people that they have cure for AIDS, since that could mislead those infested with the pandemic.

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