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Help me develop AIDS drug — Ato Duncan

BY: Emmanuel Ebo Hawkson
Dr Samuel Ato Duncan addressing guests at the launch of the Centre of Awareness Food Supplement (COAFS), in Accra yesterday. Picture: PATRICK DICKSON
Dr Samuel Ato Duncan addressing guests at the launch of the Centre of Awareness Food Supplement (COAFS), in Accra yesterday. Picture: PATRICK DICKSON

The Executive President of Centre of Awareness Global Peace Mission (COA), Dr Samuel Ato Duncan, has appealed to the government to assist him in his efforts to produce a cure for HIV/AIDS.

According to him, he had developed a product that had the potential to be a breakthrough in the fight against the HIV/AIDS epidemic, but there was the need for further research on it.

“Ghana should do further work on this product to come out with proper scientific data using international standard protocol to ascertain that it works, so that the World Health Organisation can accept it for the treatment of HIV/AIDS,” he said.

Dr Duncan was speaking at the launch of a dietary supplement, ‘COAFS’, produced by COA, which supports the human immune system to fight a variety of diseases.

The immune booster helps build the body’s defence mechanism against diseases and also supports the immune system against attack from viruses, bacteria and parasites.

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A plus for development

Dr Duncan contended that the economic benefits of his discovery were enormous because it had the potential to make the country a global leader in HIV treatment and cure.

“We are all talking about Ghana beyond aid.

This product, when fully developed, can be a big plus for the country’s development and make us a global leader in medicine,” he said.

He said research into the cure of HIV should be a top priority which must not be undermined.

Dr Duncan, however, explained that as of now, his formula was work in progress and, therefore, the anti-retroviral drug was the recommended treatment against HIV/AIDS.

“The anti-retro viral drug has been approved by the World Health Organisation for the treatment and management of HIV.

We should never dispute that fact until a cure is found and the WHO endorses it, but there is currently no cure for HIV.

“People living with HIV should take their anti-retroviral drug assiduously.

They can take the COAFS as an immune booster to help treatment but it is not a replacement,” he emphasised.

Dr Duncan’s work on HIV

In 2016, Dr Duncan came out with a formula which was tested in a test tube at the Noguchi Memorial Centre for Medical Research at Legon.

The lead scientist at Noguchi who tested the formula, Dr Jacob Simon Barnor, wrote in his findings that the formula showed great signs against HIV and, therefore, had the potential to be a cure for HIV/AIDS.

The drug also went through toxicology (safety) test at the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine at Mampong, and further tests at the University of Kwazulu Natal in South Africa, and was proven to have a potential to cure HIV/AIDS.

AIDS Commission

For his part, the acting Director-General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Mr Kyeremeh Atuahene, denied reports that his outfit was stifling the efforts of COA towards finding a cure for HIV/AIDS.

Rather, he said the commission was collaborating with COA and other relevant stakeholders to conduct further research to establish the efficacy of COA’s products in relation to HIV/AIDS.

“We will do an independent assessment of COA’s products to establish if they have any activity against HIV, whether viral suppression or total cure for HIV,” he said.

Mr Atuahene said the commission had not abandoned COA, rather, it had had a series of engagements with the centre, the last being in May this year.

The aim of the engagements, he explained, was to spearhead an independent scientific evaluation that would ultimately lead to product development in the event COA’s product proved to be efficacious to HIV/AIDS.

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