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13.02.2006 General News

Korle-Bu Refuses To Conduct AIDs test

By David Amponsah Boakye (SUN)
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A CHILLING information reaching the News Desk of THE SUN has revealed that the country's premier laboratory, Public Health and Reference Laboratory at Korle Bu is refusing to conduct AIDS test on some AIDS patients who are seeking medical assistance from Dr. Ohene Amoako Akwasi's Herbal Centre.

This action by the Public Health and Reference Laboratory is said to be another attempt to frustrate and sobotage the work of Dr. Amoako who was reported to have treated countless Aids patiens from positive to negative. It was learnt that soon after the publication by The Sun including medical reports from the same Public Health and Reference Laboratory about a numbers of patients who tested negative after treatment from Amoako herbal center, a warning was dispatched to him to cease publishing names and documents of patients that he had been able to treat.

In order to silence the herbalists the Sun learnt that strigent warning has been issue to the Public Health and Reference Laboratory not to attend to any Aids patient who would be referred by Dr. Amoako for test. This the paper learnt was a move to keep the herbalist at bay, not to get any prove that he has cure for AIDS.

This has come to confirm the allegation made by the AIDS patients who took to the principal streets of Accra to demonstrate against AIDS commission that the commission and the Health Institutions would like to speed up their deaths as a result of the unavailability of the Anti-retroviral Drug. Their claim was soon denied by the health institutions but some politicians offered opinion that the officials of the AIDS commission should be sacked for inefficiency.

Attempt by the paper to obtain an explanation as to why Aids patients from the herbalists were refused test did not receive favourable answers. According to the herbalists, he often referred all the patients who consulted him for treatment to the Public Health and Reference laboratory for a reliable AIDS test and based on that laboratory report that he applied medicine to the patients.

He said after some period of time when the medicine had been introduced to them, he referred them back to the same laboratory to find out the status of the disease which most often the second test proved negative. "The Laboratory, with no apparent reasons has refused to conduct test on patients who would like to go for medical assistance", dejected herbalist told the Sun.

"Even though he had in possession a number of laboratory reports that have been proved negative or non-reactive from the said laboratory, the recent decision by the authorities would go a long way to worsen the case of the patients since it is the only reliable laboratory in the country, A woman (name withheld) who alerted THE SUN when she had been refused test at the Public Health and Reference Laboratory at Korle Bu cried out as a result of her poor health. According to the woman, as early as she entered the laboratory she was questioned by one Mr. Addo, one of the laboratory technicians as to where she was coming from but soon after realizing that she had been directed by the herbalist, he refused to conduct the test.

Both Mr. Addo and Mrs. Bekoe refused to talk to this reporter on the issue but redirected the reporter to get an authoritative note from the Ministry of Health and the Institutional Care Department permitting them to grant an interview to the press.

Whatever reasons the laboratory has for the refusal of the test may be explained later by the officials but Dr. Amoako alleged that he has been cautioned on several occasions by some personnel from the health sector and the Ghana AIDS Commission that the test on the patients would be done if the he desist from publishing the names and documents that he has cure for the HIV/AIDS.

He said he made attempt to reach the UN for this development which the Secretary-General redirected him to the Ghana AIDS Commission for the necessary assistance but the commission demanded astronomical amount of ¢250 million before they could deal with him.

The Director of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa, in an interview with THE SUN, recently said that the herbal medicine that the herbalist was using in treating the people had not been submitted for efficacy test. However Dr. Amoako insisted that it was the commission's astronomical demand that had pushed him away for test of his medicine. The herbalist, who should rather be assisted to look into his claims has rather come under strong attacked by the very institution suposed to lead the aids battle," a patients told the paper.

A number of Aids patients who spoke to THE SUN at the premises of herbal center said apart from the fact that Korle Bu refused them the test they attended different laboratory for the test which they were proved negative but since the reference lab is the only reliable laboratory in the country the herbalist always prefer it to other places.

The health institutions seems to have neglected their functions especially on the AIDS patients and this situation called for the demonstration by the AIDS patients and the NGOs in the country last week.

Hon. Kennedy Agyapong, MP for Assin South, in response to the demonstration blamed the workers and the officials at the Ghana AIDS Commission and called on the government to dismiss them for inefficienty.