The Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM) at Mampong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region has recommended to government the Centre of Awareness Food Supplement (COA FS) for use as immune support and supportive treatment for the relief of some symptoms of the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
This was contained in a letter dated May 11, 2020, and signed by the acting Executive Director of the centre, Dr Kofi Bobi Barimah, and addressed to the Minister of Health; Mr. Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
The accompanied report on the preliminary evaluation work and recommendations on the herbal products submitted to the Health Minister by the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM) recommended other eight herbal products and also copied to the Chief Director of the Ministry of Health, the Director of Traditional and Alternative Medicine Directorate and the President of GHAFTRAM.
The COA FS, according to the report was registered by the FDA as a dietary supplement to support the immune system to fight a variety of diseases, and that chronic toxicity studies showed the drug did not have a deleterious effect in rats on prolonged administration.
The report further stressed that “Studies show COA FS has anti-viral activity against HIV. Anecdotal clinical data collected showed COA FS significantly reduced viral loads in HIV and Hepatitis B patients,”
The other eight products are Amen Depomix Powder, Herbetine Herbal Powder, Herbetine Herbal Mixture, Viva plus Powder, Ayisaa Opinto Herbal Tea, CD Capsules, Amen Fevermix Capsules and Amen Chestico Capsules.
The recommendation was based on four major factors, thus the biological activities of the medicinal plants used in the formulation, the status of the product as Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) registered dietary supplement to support the immune system to fight a variety of diseases, the traditional uses of the plant constituents and some chronic toxicity studies and anecdotal clinical data available on the product.
The assessors also considered the various medicinal plants used in the preparation of the products, reviewed information available and the microbial load analyses on relevant products.
“Based on our preliminary evaluation, we submit our recommendations, as attached, for your necessary action,” the letter to the minister stated.
The centre’s report further added that it was going to embark on the next phase of its assessment of the products.
“The next phase of our assessment will include chronic toxicity and anti-viral studies of products of interest. We will update you (Minister of Health) on the progress of the evaluation in due course,” the letter indicated.
On their part, the General Secretary of GHAFTRAM, Nana Kwadwo Obiri, welcomed the news as very positive and relieving, adding that based on the recommendations of the CSRPM, the federation was ready to manufacture the products for free for the treatment of COVID-19 patients once the government was ready to provide the raw materials.
The nine medicines were part of 33 herbal products submitted to the Ministry of Health for onward submission to the centre by the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Associations (GHAFTRAM) to establish their potency for the management of the COVID-19.
Nana Obiri maintained that the submission for evaluation was based on the conviction that herbal medical practitioners had something positive to offer in the fight against the COVID-19 and would go the long way to help the government fight the pandemic.