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No, Noguchi Has Not Approved COA FS As Coronavirus Cure!

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Noguchi approves Ghana-made drug to fight Coronavirus – media reports

Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research says it has not approved COA FS as a cure for COVID-19

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Some Ghanaian Internet users have had their expectations heightened over the last couple of weeks regarding a locally manufactured drug- COA FS which was purported to be a potential cure for coronavirus, by the headlines of some media outlets. 

News websites such as Daily Mail Africa, and social media posts such as We Rep Ghana on Instagram have had headlines that stated that COA FS has been approved by the Noguchi Memorial Institute (Ghana’s leading biomedical research institute) to fight Coronavirus

However, in all the stories, contrary to their headlines, the news items emphatically stated that the drug was undergoing trials by the Food and Drugs Authority and other stakeholders, and no conclusion had been made as yet. The Director of Noguchi is quoted in the stories as follows: 

“…we are in the process of putting together the clinical results before we are able to say this medicine is good and can even be exported for HIV, Covid-19 or any viral disease. We want to make sure that COA FS is properly tested and assessed. We actually have a process ongoing with a comprehensive stakeholder approach with the Food and Drugs Authority, Centre for Plant Medicine and others. For now, the medicine is registered as an immune booster and as an immune booster, we know that for Covid-19 if you have a stronger immune system then there is a better chance of surviving.”

Verification

Dubawa contacted the Noguchi Memorial Institute to get a clear understanding of its stance. On 6 April 2020, following numerous calls from Dubawa regarding the issue, the Institute issued an official statement on their Twitter account, stressing that it “has not independently tested or verified that COA FS can treat COVID-19.” 

Similarly, the Ghana Food and Drugs Authority had on their official Twitter handle on 5 April 2020 urged the public to “disregard any such information making the rounds”.

Likewise, the manufacturers of the COA FS drug, the Centre of Awareness Global Peace Mission, issued a disclaimer on 15 March 2020 on their official website stating that contrary to the claims published by some media outlets, COA FS is not a cure for coronavirus. They added that the company only appealed to the government and research institutions to ascertain its effectiveness against the COVID-19, as the drug is a food supplement that boosts the immune system.

Conclusion

The Food and Drugs Authority and the Noguchi Memorial Institute have refuted claims stating that COA FS has been ‘approved by the Noguchi Institute Memorial Institute as a cure for COVID-19’. The manufacturers have only asked for the drug to be tested for its effectiveness as an immune booster against the virus. The headlines of some media outlets are misleading and contradictory of the suggestion by the manufacturers and the statements of the Director of Noguchi. 

Maxine Gloria Danso is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Maxine has previously worked as a Research Assistant engaging in some notable communication research projects in Ghana, having completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, with specialisation in journalism, public relations and advertising. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Ghana, with a University Diploma in French Studies from Université Rennes 2 in France. Maxine contributes to the team by drawing from her knowledge and research experience in media studies.

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