- There were various news reports that a herbal medicine, locally known as Nibima has been approved for a clinical trial for the treatment of COVID-19
- The claim that the drug had been approved by the food and drugs authority are completely false
- The Authority did not state or suggest that the Nibima had been approved for treatment of COVID-19
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There were various news reports that a herbal medicine, Cryptolepis sanguinolenta, has been approved for a clinical trial in Ghana for the treatment of COVID-19.
According to various social media reports, the medicine locally known as ‘Nibima’, was announced on Monday, February 1, 2021, by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) as approved.
Interestingly, the claims that the drug had been approved by the food and drugs authority are completely false.
Truth of the matter is, the FDA issued a press statement indicating that, they together with the National Medicine Regulatory Agency (NMRA) had “approved Nibima for clinical trials” on COVID-19.
The release of the statement followed a clinical trial application that was submitted by researchers from the School of Public Health of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The statement concluded that the FDA hopes “data from the study [the clinical trial] may be useful to inform policy or be used for scientific judgement and opinions in relation to COVID-19”.
From this, it is clear that the Authority did not state or suggest that the Nibima had been approved for treatment of COVID-19.
KNUST also issued a statement to clarify that Nibima has not been approved for COVID-19 treatment.
According to Ghana’s Public Health Act, 2012, Act 851, all medicines, herbal medicinal products, cosmetics, medical devices or procedures must be approved by the FDA through clinical trials.
Clinical trials are controlled research studies performed on human beings with the aim of evaluating a medical, surgical, or behavioral intervention.
Going by the above explanation, the researchers of KNUST’s School of Public Health followed the rules to have the clinical trial done.
However, before submitting an application, the person or organisation seeking to approve a medicine, cosmetic or procedure must submit evidence of laboratory investigation into the medicine for the FDA’s verification.
Laboratory investigations, as the name suggests, is a research conducted in the laboratory. It usually uses special equipment and cells or animals to find out if a drug, procedure or treatment is likely to be useful in humans. However, it normally does not involve humans.
Thus, in the case of the Nibima herbal medicine, the KNUST researchers after having conducted the laboratory investigations applied for a clinical trial from the FDA. The statement issued by the FDA was the Authority’s announcement to the general public that it had approved the drug for clinical trials.
In other news, the Ghana Medical Association has warned the general public against drinking or gargling Hydrogen Peroxide as a measure to protect against the Coronavirus Pandemic.
Speaking on Joy FM, President of the GMA, Dr. Frank Ankobeah, said no research has been reached nor trials concluded on the use of Hydrogen Peroxide.
He warned that using it such could pose health risks.
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