Health News Mon, 4 Sep 2006

New drug to boost immune system of HIV patients

Ho, Sept. 04, GNA 96 A team of traditional healers and some medical doctors have developed a product code name DNT One, which like the Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) could help boost the immune system of HIV/AIDS patients in the country.

The project is being undertaken with the assistance of Ghana Aids Commission (GAC), Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Opportunities Industrialisation Centre (OIC).

Dr Anthony Normeshie, Executive Director, Health For All Herbal Clinic at Oworam in the Eastern Region announced this at the Fourth African Traditional Medicine Day at Ho.

The day sponsored by the Ministry of Health, WHO-Afro and Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners (GHAFTRAM) was under the theme: 93Health Promotion and HIV/AIDS Prevention: Blending the Ancient and the Modern'.

Dr Normeshie was delivering a paper on the traditional healers perspective on 93The scaling-up partnership between conventional health practitioners and indigenous health knowledge systems in Ghana.=94 He said basic research and evaluation on DNT One had almost been completed for onward submission to Ngouchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in Accra for scientific tests.


Dr Normeshie noted that HIV patients on DNT One might probably not be qualified to use ART.

He said there had been improvement in the practice of traditional medicine because most of the practitioners had undergone basic capacity building workshops organised by WHO, MOH, district assemblies, Ghana Aids Commission and non-governmental organisations and GHAFTRAM. Togbega Dabra VI, Pharmacist and Traditional Medicine Consultant said some herbal medicines contained ingredients, which had proved to be helpful in managing conditions of HIV/AIDS patients.

Togbega Dabra presenting a paper on 93The role of Traditional Medicine in the management and prevention of HIV/AIDS=94 said

'Patients who have survived the infection or are able to live with HIV/AIDS in Africa have either used herbal medicine or complemented their anti-viral therapy with plant based nutracenticals.=94 He said it was as a result of the improvements in the conditions of HIV/AIDS patients on using such preparations that some traditional herbal practitioners wrongly took to mean that they had found a cure for the disease.

Togbega Dabra identified some of those herbs which were anti-viral as Aloe Vera - 'whose whole extract in the form of tea is used for many diseases including HIV/AIDS,' and 93Garcinia Kola 96 reported to have anti-viral activity against HIV-1.'

He said herbs that dealt with anti-opportunistic infections included Sutherlandia frutescens 96 which enhances well-being, immune support, longetivity, stress, appetite stimulant and cassia alata, which had been identified and developed into useful antibacterial/anti-fungal agents for treatment of opportunistic infections in patients with HIV/AIDS.

Togbega Dabra said 91Jubi Formular', proprietary blend by CEMETRA of PROMETRA International possesses both anti-viral and immuno-stimulation activities that constituted biostimulants and immune boosters.

He said most of these herbal medicinal products were derived originally from recipes used in traditional medicine over the centuries. Togbega Dabra stressed the need to step up collaboration between traditional medicine practitioners and research scientists to come out with effective solutions for the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS using ancient remedies and traditional medicines for the benefit of Africans.

Source: GNA