Date Published: 29 July 2005

The Search for Natural / Herbal treatments for HIV / AIDS in Africa

A Ghanaian herbalist has challenged the assumption that orthodox medicine and not plant medicine is the right mode of seeking a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Mr. Kamara Agyapong, Managing Director of the Peace Herbal Clinic, said even though orthodox medicine has the potential of treating HIV, plant or herbal medicine has the capacity of not only treating it, but also curing a patient of the disease.

He was speaking in an interview with the Ghana News Agency at Ejisu in Ashanti, about efforts being made by some herbalists to propose more acceptable treatments/cure for HIV/AIDS.

Mr Agyapong is a renowned herbalist, who is already collaborating with the Department of Bio-Chemistry at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) (http://knust.edu.gh) to research into some herbal preparations for the cure of HIV/AIDS.

He said he was worried that even though a number of herbalists had researched on their own into plant and herbs to come out with cures for HIV/AIDS, their chances of administering such medicines to patients were being hindered by the lack of recognition by the authorities. Mr Agyapong appealed to the government and those in authority to give recognition and approval to such herbalists to enable them publicly contribute their quota towards the fight against the HIV/AIDS menace.

It has been reported that he is disappointed that the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC, www.ghanaids.gov.gh) has limited its role only to awareness creation about HIV/AIDS, while according to him, not publicizing initiatives assisting organizations that are researching into cures for the disease.

He said that enough awareness creation had been carried out with the support of the GAC and the time had now come for the Commission to channel part of its resources to helping herbalists' research to come out with a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Concerning the search effective treatments for HIV/AIDS, it has been argued that even though plants contain substances vital for the development of medicine that could cure the infection, African governments had down-played the role of traditional medicine in favour of the orthodox.

Mr Agyapong said if African Governments were determined to give their people good quality health, then the authorities should assist health practitioners to develop their own medicine using plants instead of relying on orthodox medicine.

He said herbal preparations from natural materials did not have hazardous side effects unlike orthodox medicine, which depended on synthetic base, and that apart from being medicinal, plant medicines can also served as food for humans, are very accessible, and less costly.

He called on cooperate bodies in Ghana that use their profits in organizing beauty contests, to divert such monies into complementing efforts of the government and herbalists at developing plant medicine.

Comment about this news item:

How much constructive health news (other than disaster reports and aid appeals) do you find reported from the continent of Africa ?

Although we do not have further information about this story it is interesting to know about the issues faced by natural health specialists in this region.

Source: Media based in Africa e.g. Accra Daily Mail, Ghana.

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