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2008 Report Re 2nd Global Summit HIV-AIDS


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2nd Global Summit on HIV-AIDS, Traditional Medicine & Indigenous Knowledge, 2008, Africa First …

2nd Global Summit on HIV-AIDS, Traditional Medicine & Indigenous Knowledge, 2008, Africa First

Andrew Williams Jr
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  • 1. REPORT 1
  • 2. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT .................................................................................................................................................................... 4 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY ................................................................................................................................................................... 4 THE TRADITIONAL MEDICINE PRACTICE ACT...................................................................................................................... 5 CONFERENCE RATIONALE............................................................................................................................................................. 6 DAY ONE – MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2008 – OPENING CEREMONIES ..................................................................... 6 Welcome Address by J. William Danquah, President & CEO, Africa First, LLC.............................................. 7 Statement of Dr. Ernest Debrah, the Minister of Food and Agriculture by Dr. Kwame Amezah, Director of Extension Services ............................................................................................................................................... 8 Statement of Dr. Luis Sambo, World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Regional Director by Dr. Joaquim Sewaka, WHO Ghana Country Director.......................................................................................................... 9 Policy Statement of the Government of Ghana by Dr. Mrs. Gladys Norley Ashitey, Deputy Minister of Health, Republic of Ghana...................................................................................................................................................... 10 DAY ONE - MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2008 - FIRST PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION .... 13 Alfons de Wert’s recovery experience at Natural Healing Center, Accra, Ghana, from Parkinson’s disease and lung embolism................................................................................................................................................... 13 “Implementation of the Regional Strategy for African countries on promoting the role of Traditional Medicine in Health Systems” by Dr. Ossy M.J. Kasilo, Advisor, Traditional Medicine Programme, World Health Organization Africa Regional Office ..................................................................................................... 19 “Contribution of PROMETRA International in the fight against epidemic, endemic and emerging diseases" by Traditional Dr. Togbega Dabra VI, CEO, Association for the Promotion of Traditional Medicine Ghana.......................................................................................................................................................................... 20 “Traditional Medicine in Ghana versus Conventional Medicine in the fight against Chronic Diseases: The struggle and controversy” by Godfred Yaw Boateng, General Secretary, Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Association ....................................................................................................................................... 21 “Collaboration between scientists and healers – what approach is possible?” by Essossiminam Lakassa, Representative of Togo Traditional Therapeutic Medicine Practitioners Association .......... 22 DAY TWO – MARCH 11, 2008 - SECOND PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION................. 23 “Ghana AIDS Commission's expectations of Traditional Medicine in the fight against HIV/AIDS” by Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa, Director-General, Ghana AIDS Commission.................................................. 23 “Control of HIV/AIDS in Bayelsa State – The Journey so far” by Honourabloe Rodney Edisemi Ere, Executive Secretary, Bayelsa State Action Committee on HIV/AIDS, Nigeria.............................................. 25 "The overview of the global AIDS epidemic: The sub-Saharan situation and the role UNAIDS expects of Traditional Healers to play in the prevention and eradication of the disease" by Dr. Leopold Zekeng, UNAIDS Coordinator for Ghana ........................................................................................................................ 28 “A Cancer Study Using Garlic, Allium sativum, Cultured Cells and Laboratory Mice as a Model System” by Dr. Emmanuel E. Brako, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota, USA....................... 30 ”Mono Sodium Glutamate or (MSG) and its possible connection with many chronic diseases” by Fiona Eberts, Journalist/Founder and Executive Director of Action on Moringa Nutrition in Ghana (AMONG)........................................................................................................................................................................................ 30 “Moringa – its nutritional, health, social and economic benefits to the nations” by Mr. George Zokli of Moffen Consult of Ghana........................................................................................................................................................ 34 Words of Inspiration from Lawrence Sewer of Jewel of the Isles of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands USA ............................................................................................................................................................................................................ 37 “A herbal medicine – NIPRISAN/NICOSAN, for the management of sickle cell anemia” by Professor Charles Wambebe, International Biomedical Research in Africa, Abuja, Nigeria....................................... 37 INTERACTIVE FORUM ON THE OVERVIEW, DYNAMICS AND IMPACT OF HIV/AIDS AND OTHER CHRONIC DISEASES ON THE DEVELOPING WORLD. .................................................................................................... 40 DAY THREE – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, MARCH, 2008 THIRD PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION .................................................................................................................................................................... 46 “HIV AND AIDS – Traditional Medicine & Indigenous Knowledge for Prevention, Care and Cure” by Traditional Doctor Jaiyeola Akintoye of J. Akintoye Herbal Therapeutics Centre, Nigeria ...................... 46 "Searching for Anti-HIV agents among traditional medicines" by Professor Massao Hattori, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyoma, Japan. .................................................................................................... 47 2
  • 3. “Using combined natural and bio-medical therapies to treat stroke, diabetes, hypertension, skeletal and other chronic diseases – The Amen Scientific Hospital experience” by Dr. Amin Bonsu of The Amen Scientific Hospital, Accra, Ghana.......................................................................................................................... 52 Recovery story of Madam Zainabu Gambo from Lumbago disease at Amen Scientific Hospital ....... 56 “Important medicinal plants for treating endemic diseases: Limitations and prospects in Abia State of Nigeria” by Dr. Mrs. Ezinne Enwereji, College of Medicine, Abia State University, Nigeria................. 56 “Merging Traditional Knowledge and 21st Century Technology in Managing Recalcitrant Diseases” by Gideon Adotey of Aloha Medicinals Inc ...................................................................................................................... 58 “The effect of treating chronic, debilitating and incurable diseases/disorders with natural remedies” by Dr. Ba-Lagi Gregory Lugu Zuri, Natural Healing Centre, Accra, Ghana...................................................... 59 “Malaria – Is there a possible natural cure?” by Dr. Samuel Sasu, Director/Consultant, Healthworks Stress Management Consultancy and Ayurvedic Center, Accra, Ghana........................................................ 61 “Plant Export – The threat and the strategies” by Dr. Daniel Abbiw, Author and Ethnobotanist, Accra, Ghana .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 61 “Eye Yesu Adom - a herbal formula to treat HIV/AIDS” by Madam Victoria Owuo, Indigenous Healer and member of GHAFTRAM, Accra, Ghana.................................................................................................................. 64 DAY FOUR - THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2008 - FOURTH PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION .............................................................................................................................................................................................. 66 “The advancement of science and cultural education towards social and economic development of Ghana” by Dr. Rexford Osei, Director of Science, Ministry of Education, Ghana.......................................... 66 “The preservation of indigenous knowledge and culture in the development of the Ghanaian society” by Mr. Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, National Commission on Culture, Ghana .................................................... 66 “Organic Farm Training in Ghana – Present and future prospects” by John Owusu, Ministry of Food and Agriculture ........................................................................................................................................................................... 72 DAY FOUR - THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2008 - FIFTH PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION ................................................................................................................................................................................................................. 74 “The scope and implications of current laws of Ghana on indigenous knowledge and local entrepreneurship” by Mrs. Grace Issahague, Principal State Attorney, Office of the Attorney General, Republic of Ghana...................................................................................................................................................................... 74 "Benefit Sharing and PIC: the current state of play" by Professor Graham Dutfield, Co-Director, Centre for International Governance, University of Leeds, United Kingdom (This paper was delivered by Professor William O. Hennessey)................................................................................................................................. 75 “How to Turn Intellectual Property Knowledge and Experience into Economic Power and Social Progress in Health and Agriculture: The Secrets Developing Countries and Their Indigenous Peoples Need to Know About Intellectual Property Practices in Developed Countries” by Professor William O. Hennessey, Chair, Intellectual Property Graduate Program, Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, New Hampshire, USA.............................................................................................................................................................. 76 INTERACTIVE FORUM ON PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT/REVIEW OF JURISDICTION AND PATENT LAWS THAT ADEQUATELY PROTECT TRADITIONAL MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT ................................................................................................................................................................................ 82 DAY FIVE - FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2008 - ACTIVITIES MARKING THE CONCLUSION OF THE CONFERENCE.................................................................................................................................................................................... 82 ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS AND NETWORKING ....................................................................................................... 82 Oral presentation of Godfried Kpodo, member of GHAFTRAM on “Gabriel Herbal Mixture”................. 82 AWARD OF CERTIFICATES ......................................................................................................................................................... 86 VOTE OF THANKS ........................................................................................................................................................................... 86 SUMMARY ......................................................................................................................................................................................... 86 CONFERENCE RECOMMENDATIONS: ................................................................................................................................... 87 NEXT CONFERENCE....................................................................................................................................................................... 92 MISSION OF AFRICA FIRST, LLC............................................................................................................................................... 92 CONTACT INFORMATION............................................................................................................................................................ 94 3
  • 4. All rights reserved. No part of the contents of this Report may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronically or otherwise, without the prior written permission of Africa First, LLC. ACKNOWLEDGEMENT Africa First, LLC wishes to express its profound gratitude to the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Health for granting permission to launch this conference in Ghana for the fourth time. We also thank the World Health Organization, the United Nations Joint Programmes on HIV/AIDS, Professor Alex Matter and the Esperanza Medicines Foundations, Fiona Eberts, Founder and Executive Director of AMONG for their financial and technical contributions, without which this conference could not have taken place. We are also grateful to all the resource persons who actually presented at the conference and those who submitted abstracts but could not attend because of budgetary reasons, and many other organizations and personalities who helped in diverse ways to ensure the success of the conference, including but not limited to Professor Kofi Kondwani, Assistant Professor of Morehouse School of Medicine (who graciously served as the conference chairman), Professor William O. Hennessey of Franklin Pearce Law Center through whom Patent Attorney Gerow D. Brill generously donated several volumes of a Handbook on Best Practices - Intellectual Property Management in Health and Agricultural Innovation to the conference for distribution to delegates and agencies of the Government of Ghana, the Ghana AIDS Commission, the African Council of AIDS Service Organizations (which provided free announcement on its website about the conference), Association for the Promotion of Traditional Medicines (PROMETRA), Togo Therapeutic Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission, Dr. Ossy MJ Kasilo, Regional Advisor on Traditional Medicine, WHO Regional Office for Africa, Dr. Leopold Zekeng (UNAIDS Accra), Dr. Emmanuel Brako of Winona State University, Professor Masao Hattori and his wife from Toyoma University, Japan, Professor Charles Wambebe, Professor Graham Dutfield, Co-Director, Centre for International Governance, University of Leeds, Janet Khaoya (UNAIDS Geneva), Mr. Peter Arhin, Mr. George Agyemfra, Rose Mensah and Justice Opare (Ghana Ministry of Health), Dr. Rexford Osei of the Ministry of Education, Dr. Kwame Amezah of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Mr. John Owusu of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Dr. Samuel Sasu, Mr. Daniel Abbiw, Mrs. Grace Issahaque of the Ministry of Justice, Mr. Kwame Antwi Anyimadu of the National Commission on Culture, Dr. Ezinne Enwereji of Abia State University, Nigeria, Traditional Doctor Jayieola Akintoye of Nigeria, Honourable Rodney Ere of Bayelsa State Action Committee on AIDS, Nigeria, Dr. Amin Bosu of Amen Scientific Hospital, Dr. Ba-Lagi Lugu-Zuri of Natural Healing Centre, Mr. Gideon Adotey of Aloha Medicinals Inc, Mr. Peter Avinu of Peter’s Herbal Centre, Mr. George Zokli, Mr. Kojo Eduful, Godfred Y. Boateng, 1st Vice President and General Secretary respectively of GHAFTRAM, Owusu Achaw (Major retired) and Mr. Kofi Attu. We also thank the management and staff of Fiesta Royale Hotel for their warm hospitality. Our special thanks go to Mr. Alfons de Wert and Madam Zainabu Gambo who graciously shared with the conference their personal experiences as victims of different ailments and the role traditional medicine played in their healing process. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY The activities of the 2nd Global Summit on HIV/AIDS, Traditional Medicine and Indigenous Knowledge began from Monday, March 10, 2008 and ended on Friday, March 14, 2008 at the Fiesta Royale Hotel, Accra, Ghana, The choice of hosting the conference in Ghana was because of the Government of Ghana’s support for the event and also of the fact that Ghana is one of the few African countries which have 4
  • 5. made remarkable progress in the promotion and practice of traditional medicine as part of their healthcare delivery systems. The Government of Ghana on 23 February 2000 passed the Traditional Medicine Practice Act 595. THE TRADITIONAL MEDICINE PRACTICE ACT The Act establishes a council to regulate the practice of traditional medicine, register practitioners and license them to practice and to regulate the preparation and sale of herbal medicines. The Act defines traditional medicine as "practice based on beliefs and ideas recognized by the community to provide health care by using herbs and other naturally occurring substances" and herbal medicines as "any finished labelled medicinal products that contain as active ingredients aerial or underground parts of plants or other plant materials or the combination of them whether in crude state or plant preparation" (31). The Act is divided into four parts (26): Part I concerns the Traditional Medicine Practice Council, including its establishment; function; membership; tenure of members; meetings; the appointment of committees such as Finance, General Purposes, Research, Training, Ethics, and Professional Standards; granting of allowances to members; and the establishment of regional and district offices. Part II covers the registration of traditional medical practitioners. Clause 9 states that no person shall operate or own a practice or produce herbal medicines for sale unless registered under this act. The qualifications for registration are given in Clause 10. Clause 11 provides for the temporary registration of foreigners who have a work permit, satisfy the requirements for registration under this act, and have a good working knowledge of English or a Ghanaian language. The rest of Part II deals with matters concerning renewal of the certificate of registration, suspension of registration of practitioners, cancellation of registration, and representation to the Council. In Clause 13, it is provided that the Minister of Health, on the recommendation of the Council in consultation with recognized associations of traditional medicine practitioners, may regulate the titles used by traditional medicine practitioners based on the types of services rendered and the qualifications of the practitioners. Part III covers matters concerning the licensing of practices: mandatory licensing; method of application and conditions for licensing; issuance and renewal of licenses; acquisition and display of licenses; ownership and operation of a practice by a foreign practitioner; revocation, suspension, and refusal to renew a license and representations to the Council by aggrieved persons; powers of entry and inspection by an authorized inspector; and notification of death to a coroner. Part IV concerns staff for the Traditional Medicine Practice Council as well as financial and miscellaneous provisions, such as the appointment of a registrar, the provision of the Register of Traditional Medicine Practitioners, offences, and regulations. Clause 41 states categorically that the Act shall not derogate from the provisions of the Food and Drugs Board Law PNDCL 305B. Situated on the west coast of Africa, Ghana, a democratically thriving industrial and agricultural African country which covers an area of 239,460 square kilometres with a population of about 22 million, was once famous for gold and European traders therefore called the country "The Gold Coast". 5
  • 6. CONFERENCE RATIONALE Science and technology in the study and practice of conventional medicine continue to aid industrialized nations in overcoming many health problems. However, despite billions of dollars expended on research and drug development, the cure for many diseases such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, sickle cell, anaemia, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and mental disorders has been elusive as at this writing. Nations of the under developed world continue to suffer from many diseases on account of high cost of medicine and healthcare. These nations rely on traditional medicine practitioners and local medicinal plants to satisfy their primary health care needs. The rationale for hosting this conference was to continue with the findings of the Global Summit on HIV/AIDS, Traditional Medicine & Indigenous Knowledge hosted in March 2006 in searching for and identifying traditional medicines and practices of established value used in the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, sickle cell, anaemia, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and mental disorders, for further evaluation of safety, efficacy and meeting quality standards. The other rationale was to promote the review and development of jurisdictions and patent laws that adequately capture intellectual property rights which emanate from Traditional Medicine, international, regional, state, local laws and legislations, taking into account, relevant intellectual property rights regimes to ensure adequate protection for traditional medical knowledge and allowing its sustainable development. This international event, the fifth facilitated by Africa First, LLC, provided opportunities for orthodox doctors and indigenous medicine practitioners who have made claims to natural remedies to treat some of the chronic diseases of the modern day, to introduce such medicines to the conference. The conference was characterized by spirited presentations and animated discussions on herbal therapies and biomedical technologies actually being used by conventional doctors and indigenous medicine practitioners for the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, sickle cell, anaemia, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and mental disorders. The conference also provided opportunities for some of those patients who have received treatment for various diseases from natural medicines and biomedical technology to share their experiences with the audience. The conference was very vocal on the virtual lack of protection for the property and the interests of practitioners in traditional medicine and indigenous knowledge and recommended ways forward. DAY ONE – MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2008 – OPENING CEREMONIES The conference commenced with a meditation exercise conducted by the Conference Chairman, Dr. Kofi Kondwani, Assistant Professor of Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia, USA. According to Dr. Kondwani (see his paper submitted at the Global Summit in March 2006), “Meditation increases mental silence while simultaneously allowing the spirit, mind and body to rest and rejuvenate. Meditation has been found to reduce stress, depression, anxiety and blood pressure in African American and other populations. Clinical use of stress management approaches, particularly meditation, is supported by randomized clinical control trials.” {Subsequent days’ sessions were commenced with meditation exercises.} The meditation exercise was followed by prayers offered by Nii Otrinkwa Nyarko, a traditional priest from Sempe Mensah Wei, James Town, Accra and a drama depicting the important role traditional medicine plays in the African society was performed by the Abibigromma Cultural Troupe of the School of Performing Arts, University of Ghana. 6
  • 7. Welcome Address by J. William Danquah, President & CEO, Africa First, LLC In a welcome address delivered by Professor Kofi Kondwani on behalf of Mr. J. William Danquah, he gratefully acknowledged that about 43 local and international practitioners and scholars involved in the practice of both orthodox and traditional medicines accepted invitations to come to Ghana to participate in the conference. They worked so hard to submit abstracts. However, funds could not be procured to cover their travel and boarding expenses to enable all of them to participate in the conference. Hence only a few of the original speakers could come, warranting a change of the original venue, modification of the program, substitution of speakers at the last minute, but with the certainty that in spite of those difficulties, given the caliber of the 29 resource persons available, apart from those representing the Government of Ghana, the World Health Organization and the United Nations, and with the cooperation of the audience, a very informative and enriching experience was generated by the conference. Mr. Danquah took the opportunity to thank all those who had submitted abstracts but were unable to attend the conference. He acknowledged that Esperanza Medicines Foundation contributed $10,000.00 in support of the conference. He thanked Dr. Leopold Zekeng, Ghana Country Coordinator of the United Nations Joint Programmes on HIV/AIDS, who was instrumental in obtaining an approval of a $10,000.00 grant from that organization to support the activity. He also gave special thanks to Ms. Fiona Eberts, Founder and Executive Director of Action on Moringa Nutrition in Ghana (AMONG) for contributing $5,000.00 and granting a loan of $12.000.00 to cover some of the expenses for hosting the conference. He thanked Professor William Hennessey and the Franklin Pearce Law Center in New Hampshire, USA and Professor Graham Dutfield of the Centre for International Governance, University of Leeds, for contributing papers dealing with matters relating to the urgent moral and legal burden that lies on governments the world over to enact appropriate laws guaranteeing the rights and interests of traditional people to indigenous medical knowledge, recognizing the fact that the absence of such laws is discouraging traditional medicine practitioners from sharing their knowledge with the scientific community and as such the full potentials that traditional medicine could bring in the search for natural remedies which may cure and prevent many of the diseases of the modern day seems out of reach. Mr. Danquah acknowledged the kindness of Patent Attorney Gerow D. Brill of Philadelphia USA, who donated several copies of Volumes 1 and 2 of a Handbook on Best Practices - Intellectual Property Management in Health and Agricultural Innovation through the Franklin Pearce Law Center to aid the work of the conference. These handbooks have been distributed not only to some of the delegates of the conference which include representatives of the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Medicine (PROMETRA) of Senegal, the Traditional Therapeutic Medicine Practitioners Association of Togo, but to the following ministries and agencies of the Government of Ghana: Ministry of Health Ministry of Food and Agriculture Ministry of Justice Ministry of Education Food and Drugs Board Ghana AIDS Commission Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association National Commission on Culture Directorate of Traditional and Alternative Medicine, Ministry of Health University of Ghana Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research Centre for Scientific Research Into Plant Medicine 7
  • 8. Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, (The King of the legendary Ashanti Kingdom) Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital Prof. William Hennessey of Franklin Pearce Law Center, New Hampshire, donating Intellectual Property books to GHAFTRAM officers Mr. Danquah gave special thanks to Professor Masao Hattori from Toyoma University Institute of Natural Medicine, Japan, who came with his wife to contribute to this conference. He also thanked Dr. Kofi Kondwani of Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia USA and Dr. Emmanuel E. Brako of Winona State University, Minnesota, USA for contributing to the conference. Mr. Danquah urged the conference to applaud traditional medicine practitioners around the world, for their dedication to service to their communities when it comes to primary healthcare, and their involvement in the global fight to prevent and eradicate the spread of many diseases, despite the lack of resources. He hoped that the conference will provide the necessary avenue where healers can freely bring out their medicines into the open and meet not only with policy makers but scientists and entrepreneurs to negotiate acceptable arrangements whereby resources could be provided not only for testing of their natural products, but that these medicines can be transformed into acceptable dosages, labeled and marketed in keeping with applicable laws. Mr. Danquah announced that Africa First, LLC will shortly open its Medicinal Farm at Tepa Ahafo Ano, Ashanti Region, with the intention of working with traditional medicine practitioners and the scientific community in Ghana and around the world for the purposes of learning about the enormous gifts of natural healing, saving plants for food and health, saving lives and ultimately saving the world. Statement of Dr. Ernest Debrah, the Minister of Food and Agriculture by Dr. Kwame Amezah, Director of Extension Services Dr. Kwame Amezah, Director of Extension Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Republic of Ghana, in a statement read on behalf of Dr. Ernest Debrah, the Honourable Minister of Food and Agriculture about the importance of combining scientific and indigenous knowledge in forest resource management and conservation, he stated that forests which now cover about one-third of the world’s land area (about 4 billion hectares), provide wood for timber and fuel, and non-wood forest products including food, fodder and other important social services including recreation, tourism, culture and religion. He said a large number of the world population depends on the forest for their health needs. He said that shrubs and herbaceous plants such as Prunus africanus, Croton, Polyanthus, Bitter gourd, have a range of chemicals that can control the growth of disease carrying organisms. Forest flora therefore, represents a great gift of nature which should be harnessed for the fight against various killer diseases including HIV/AIDs. He said that in spite of their importance, forests are being converted to other uses such as mining, agriculture and oil production. The world looses about 13 million hectares of forest per year. This results in reduction of long-term provision of forest products and services as well as the potential of the forest to regenerate itself. 8
  • 9. He said that one of the major driving forces for the loss and degradation of forests is centralization of forest management from indigenous communities to the state in Africa. The erosion of customary forest management systems and the rise of state agencies and private companies as forest managers lead to the rapid loss of forests in the 21st century. He said that the capacity for effective application of science and technology is frequently weak in many developing countries. This limitation is due to lack of detailed knowledge in “tree science” compared to our knowledge in food and industrial crops. We have not committed enough resources to the scientific study and management of this very important natural resource although we know that ‘when the tree dies the last person will also die’. There is therefore the need for scientists, specially in Africa, to study the forest ecosystem in order to generate vital information and knowledge necessary for sustaining the forest growth and use. Scientific knowledge can be used to improve and develop the forest ecosystem. However, the end users of the forest must be involved in any scientific or political efforts at forest development and management. Statement of Dr. Luis Sambo, World Health Organization (WHO) Africa Regional Director by Dr. Joaquim Sewaka, WHO Ghana Country Director The next speaker was Dr. Joaquim Sewaka, World Health Organization’s Country Director for Ghana. On behalf of the WHO Regional Director for Africa, Dr Luis Sambo, Dr. Sewaka said that the health challenges in countries of WHO African Region include high prevalence of communicable diseases especially the triad of HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis; an increasing burden of non- communicable diseases, a very high rate of maternal and infant mortality; all of which contribute to very low life expectancy in countries of the Sub-Saharan Africa. Other challenges are weak health systems especially with regard to the availability and management of human, financial, and technological resources. He said WHO and its partners have to provide timely guidance and cost effective interventions as well as technical support to countries for adaptation of tools and guidelines to their situations, capacity strengthening including mobilizing technical and financial resources with focus on universal access to interventions for comprehensive HIV/AIDS prevention, treatment and care services; including the provision of antiretroviral therapy. In some countries traditional health practitioners have been actively participating in the fight against HIV/AIDS prevention and delivering health promotion messages to the communities where they live. The proximity of these practitioners to the community make them reliable strip to support families and individuals in particular for home-based care for opportunistic infection. In order to maximize their potential, he said governments need to create enough space for collaboration with them as full partners, develop coherent policies, put in place regulatory and legislative actions for legal recognition of traditional health practitioners and for ensuring the quality, safety and efficacy of their services. This commitment entails the design and implementation of HIV- prevention interventions. Dr. Joaquim Saweka Director of WHO Ghana speaking at the conference 9
  • 10. To mark the role of traditional health practitioners in the prevention of HIV/AIDS, he said countries of WHO African Region celebrated the Third African Traditional Medicine Day in 2006 with the theme “African Traditional Medicine: Contribution to Preventing HIV Infection”. This theme was in line with the launch that was made by the African Union and United Nations system on 11 April 2006 following the Declaration by the African health ministers in 2005 in Maputo which declared the Year 2006 as the “Year for Acceleration of HIV Prevention in Africa”. He said countries are continuing to conduct research activities in order to produce evidence on safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicines used for the management of malaria, HIV/AIDS, sickle cell anaemia, diabetes and hypertension with WHO support. This evidence is a key to increasing their availability, accessibility and affordability in the context of primary health care. So far, there is no cure for HIV infection or its most severe form of disease - AIDS. The World Health Organization is promoting and supporting the use of combination antiretroviral therapy. When people living with HIV/AIDS take highly active antiretroviral therapy, HIV replication and deterioration of the immune system can be effectively interrupted, and survival and quality of life significantly improved. Such therapy has to be taken continuously and is life-long. WHO remains available to provide technical support to countries to assess safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicines. He said that in recent years there has been an increasing interest in both developed and developing countries in the health care, the economic and trade value of traditional medical knowledge and medicinal plants. The need to protect this knowledge and to secure a fair and equitable sharing of benefits that may derive from it, on mutually agreed terms, have become of concern to governments and national health officials of Member States. This is an area that is very important for our region given the unacceptable high rate of bio-piracy and the inequitable sharing of benefits accruing from the use of traditional medical knowledge and biological resources. In order to address these concerns, the Regional Office has developed Guidelines on national policy on protection of traditional medical knowledge and access to biological resources and the WHO draft Model Law on the Protection of Traditional Medical Knowledge and Access to Biological Resources for adaptation by countries to their situation. At global level, WHO has established an inter-governmental working group on Public Health, Innovation and Intellectual Property to develop a global strategy and plan of action. This was in response to the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA59.24) on public health, innovation, essential health research and intellectual property rights: towards a global strategy and plan of action. That resolution emphasized on priorities and collaborative initiatives in research and development. The global plan of action offers a good opportunity for countries to articulate health research relevant to the African Region. The current realistic and effective strategy to stem the spread of HIV infection in the sub-Saharan Africa is the combination of intensification of HIV prevention efforts with scaling up of treatment and care. Traditional Medicine can contribute to improving the health of African peoples particularly in primary health care. More research is required to determine the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicines that have been found to help people living with HIV/AIDS. Countries need to adapt who guidelines and tools to their individual situation for the development national laws for the protection of the custodians of knowledge medical knowledge and biological resources. Policy Statement of the Government of Ghana by Dr. Mrs. Gladys Norley Ashitey, Deputy Minister of Health, Republic of Ghana On behalf of the Government of Ghana, Dr. Mrs. Gladys Norley Ashitey representing the Honourable Minister of Health, Major Courage E.K. Quashigah (Rtd), welcomed all the participants. She noted that this conference was the fourth time Africa First had initiated a conference in Ghana. She congratulated the CEO of Africa First, Mr. William Danquah and the sponsors for 10
  • 11. attracting considerable attention to the potentials of harnessing traditional medicine, indigenous knowledge and the related genetic resources, in solving old as well as new challenges that affect the health and nutrition of developing countries. She also informed the conference that Africa First is cultivating a 120-acre land at Tepa in Ahafo-Ano District of Ghana with medicinal plants with the aim of providing raw material for research and development and as a practical demonstration of his commitment to the preservation of medicinal plant resources. This is done with the realization that the convergence of modern technological know- how and the indigenous knowledge by which generations of Africans have survived until the last 200 or so years, would continue to be important in our development. Deputy Health Minister Gladys N. Ashitey addressing the conference This realization emanates from the recognition of indigenous knowledge as having intrinsic value of social, scientific, ecological, cultural, technological and educational significance. For a sizeable proportion of our population, Traditional Medicine continues to play an important role in their intellectual, health, agricultural and commercial activities. It is in line with this recognition that the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) has set up the Inter-governmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources (IGC-IP-GR), Traditional Knowledge and Folklore to discuss and prepare policy objectives and core principles and approaches for developing indigenous knowledge. Following that and in pursuance of the ideals of the famous Alma Ata Declaration in 1978 and other later resolutions, the WHO has also set up the Inter-governmental Committee on Public Health, Health Innovations and Traditional Knowledge, to deliberate on the elements of traditional knowledge that are of significance to public health and from which innovative health products can be derived from the associated genetic resources including microbiological processes. In the African Region, we recognize the work that WAHO, WHO-AFRO and the Commonwealth Secretariat have done; all aimed towards promoting the development, documentation and protection of traditional medicine knowledge. Ghana has been working with a ten year strategic plan which is running in its second phase (2005-2009). This period seems to correspond with the African Union Decade of African Traditional Medicine. The strategy would be reviewed in 2010, to bring it in harmony with global trends and trends in the Region and Sub-region. Through a sector-wide collaborative effort of several stakeholders and under the sponsorship of the Global Environmental Facility of the World Bank with considerable input of the WHO-AFRO, a policy and policy guidelines are being prepared for handling genetic resources and traditional knowledge, with special reference to their application in health and agriculture. The objectives of this policy will be: 1. To ensure access, sustainable livelihoods, and equitable sharing of benefits from traditional knowledge related to plant genetic resources. 2. To facilitate rights protection of individuals, communities and the nation, through a suitable legal and administrative framework, for the use of traditional knowledge and the related plant genetic resources. 11
  • 12. 3. To foster research and development, innovations and capacity building, for the optimal and sustainable use of traditional knowledge and plant genetic resources. 4. To promote public awareness and facilitate advocacy for the development of traditional knowledge and the sustainable use and conservation of plant genetic resources. The guidelines would focus on documentation of traditional knowledge and the related genetic resources, conditions for access, benefit sharing arrangements, institutional arrangements for administration and enforcement. Meanwhile, on the global front, for sometime now, the focus has been on capacity building, knowledge sharing, skill acquisition, technological transformation and transfer, and global partnerships in fighting the scourge of communicable epidemics such as HIV/AIDS, H5NI-Bird Flu Virus and other tropical diseases such as malaria. There are obviously wide gaps in medicinal and diagnostic products, treatment procedures that need to be filled. We are also aware of the interest in improving interventions to prevent and control chronic non-communicable diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, degenerative and inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. The socio-economic burden and the direct and indirect cost of these preventable diseases weigh heavily on our nations. In response to this, and in line with the national vision of accelerating growth and wealth creation to reach a $1,000 per capita GDP by 2015, the Honourable Minister of Health in 2006 launched a special health program dubbed “The Regenerative Health and Nutrition Programme.” The program is being carried out in collaboration with an African Hebrew Community in Israel, who has been able to prove that by adopting indigenous healthy lifestyles, eating plant-based diets and practicing personal and environmental hygiene, a community can completely eradicate preventable diseases. They have been able to prove that the practice can be replicated in Africa by establishing a similar community in Benin. The program which has been piloted in 10 out of about 165 districts in Ghana, seeks to use social mobilization and behavior change communication, aimed at promoting healthy lifestyles with regards to nutrition, exercises, personal and environmental hygiene. She said the benefits of the program when it succeeds, will be in line with the Millennium Development Goals, particularly that of reducing maternal and under five mortality rates. These goals fall in line with the overall strategic objectives (2007-2011) of our local health policy of creating wealth through health by: 1. Promoting healthy lifestyles and environment 2. Up scaling the high impact rapid delivery with emphasis on quality of health delivery, sexual and reproductive health, child-health and nutrition services 3. Strengthening of health systems capacity and the local health industry with emphasis on human resources training and innovative products. 4. Fostering good governance and sustainable financing schemes. She hoped that this conference would contribute to raising awareness to these challenges and solutions that are tried-and-tested, particularly through the application of innovations emanating from helpful but harmless indigenous knowledge systems. 12
  • 13. Fortunately, our legislative frameworks both now and in the past promote rather than prohibit the use of indigenous knowledge products and practices that are not injurious to health and life. We are however not ignorant of other incidental, indirect and intangible benefits and adverse effects if they are not properly regulated. The institutional research and administrative framework and regulatory capacities in Ghana which are being developed would have reached the peak this year, with the setting up of a functional Traditional Medicine Practice Council and 2 pilot centres for the public practice of herbal medicine in healthcare delivery. The human resource is ready with the completion of the internship of 10 B.Sc. Herbal medicine graduates and the availability of the selected herbal medicine products. At least two senior medical officers who have also undertaken post graduate studies in herbal medicine are fully engaged in herbal medicine research and clinical practice at the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine at Mampong-Akwapim in Ghana. We however expectantly recognize the benefits that we can derive from such a convergence of like-minders, expertise, experiences from countries and international organizations with sponsorships from around the globe. The opportunities for networking, friendships and information-sharing will be important to us. We appreciate you and the efforts you have made for making yourself available and for the technical and material support. It is our hope that with this partnership, the aims and objectives of this conference would be achieved. On this note, the 2nd “Global Summit on HIV/AIDS, Traditional Medicine and Indigenous Knowledge is duly opened, she concluded. The Deputy Minister then cut the ribbon to officially open the exhibition hall, followed by lunch break. DAY ONE - MONDAY, MARCH 10, 2008 - FIRST PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION Identifying the challenges, successes and failures of indigenous healing practices in the contemporary world; Alfons de Wert’s recovery experience at Natural Healing Center, Accra, Ghana, from Parkinson’s disease and lung embolism BECAUSE OF THE IMPORTANCE OF THIS NARRATION TO THE OBJECTIVES OF THE CONFERENCE, WE HAVE REPRODUCED IT IN FULL. My name is Alfons de Wert; I am a 58 years old Dutchman, married, and I have 3 children. I have a commercial - managerial background and presently I work as Administrative Manager for Natural Healing Centre in Accra, as a volunteer. My story began in March 2000 in the Netherlands, Europe. Three companies merged into one new big organization with 350 personnel. Two months after this merger, I started to work for that organization as the administrative manager. In a post- merger situation, my new job came with a heavy workload and a lot of stress. In early 2001 my job had gradually reduced my life to only 2 basic activities: working and sleeping. My steadily dwindling energy level had forced me into this “survival” mode of working and resting, depriving me of social activities. I thought the heavy and intense workloads, and the traveling time, were to blame for that, however, I enjoyed my work and continued. 13
  • 14. From the beginning of 2002, I started to have “blackouts” at my work. When that happened, I would be entirely disoriented and confused, not knowing where I was or what I was doing there, as if my brain was temporarily shut down. After returning to a “state of realization”, I felt empty and powerless to do any of my tasks, and my office and my responsibilities scared me. However, as I always recovered from these fits, I figured that with a little more rest, it might prove to be only temporary. So I slept a little more and actually did not take my blackouts seriously. Besides, I wanted to be loyal to our hard working director and management team. Alfons de Wert, a Dutch national, sharing his story of recovery from Parkinson’s disease with treatment from Natural Healing Centre, Accra, Ghana On Friday the 22nd of March 2002, it happened again, this time more seriously than before. I became confused and unable to think or handle anything properly any more. In that state of mental paralysis I decided to discuss my situation with my director. He sent me home and told me that he did not want to see me again until after a consultation with my doctor. I phoned a doctor friend and described to him the incidents at my work and asked him to give his opinion. The following Monday I went to see my family practitioner. Both doctors gave me the same diagnosis: I suffered from a “burnout” and thus I had to stay home and take at least 1 month of total rest. After that, they reassured me, things would return to normal. Not working was like something unnatural to me; I always want to do something, no matter what. But now I was forced to do absolutely nothing, only to relax my mind and my body, and to recover. During the first few days of my “compulsory vacation” I lived in my usual work pace, but gradually I started to unwind anyway and to take things more easily. In the following weekend, my condition deteriorated so drastically due to total exhaustion, bodily pains and high fever, I was hardly able to move out of my bed. This condition lasted the whole weekend - from that time onward, intense mental and physical fatigue continued to dominate my existence. Soon I started to lose control over my right hip and right leg, resulting in just a light limp initially. After a month or so, my limp became permanent and increasingly worse. And before long, sharp pains started to accompany the malfunctioning of my right leg and hip. My family practitioner could not understand it. She even thought that I was simulating my illness, so one day she simply and bluntly ordered me to stop my “funny walk”, as she called it. But of course, that did not solve my problem. Soon I could not walk without permanently using my large umbrella as a substitute walking stick. The problem became progressive, my doctors had no idea what to do about it and I got further depressed about it. Then my family practitioner figured that my depression was the cause of my debilitating condition, and hence she prescribed 25 mg. of Amytriptiline (Tryptisol) for the management of my depression, my pains and my sleeping problems. She also sent me to a physiotherapist, but when exercises did not remedy my problems, she sent me to the hospital to see a psychiatrist, a neurologist, a specialist for internal diseases and a rehabilitation specialist. The hospital did a blood test, a CT-scan and a MRI-scan, but none of these tests revealed the cause of my conditions. The psychiatrist confirmed the doctor’s view: I suffered from a depression and it was this sickness, which temporarily caused my debilitating condition. He advised my family practitioner to 14
  • 15. gradually increase the doses of Amytriptiline. So from 50 mg. it went to 75 mg. and to 125 mg. and finally for a short period even to 225 mg. Both my doctor-friend and my family practitioner found those doses dangerously high, so after a while she brought it back to 150 mg. But like before, nothing helped. After that, to my great horror, my left leg also started to give problems and in stages I also got more difficulties coordinating my arms, hands, etc. and my strength dwindled. Even with crutches, walking became nearly impossible now. Walking on crutches was not a complete solution because after a 150+ meter distance, the pain and the exhaustion became practically unbearable. My limbs also started to shake, and when lifting them above a certain height the same happened with my arms, which made eating difficult, because I would constantly spill food from my spoon or my fork. My eyesight became slightly vague and since then I also had “floaters” in both my eyes. Simultaneously my hearing was affected by a very loud and domineering hissing sound, making (phone) conversations quite tedious, as people repeatedly had to repeat themselves. But as I was living alone, I forced myself to go through the pain and to continue with my shopping, cleaning, etc. In fact, I considered it my exercise to keep my body and mind a bit supple. Next my concentration and my memory started to fade and even the slightest mental excitement would be too much pressure for me. Then my intestines also started to malfunction, followed by other muscles disorders. Later the coordination of my speech gave way to my unknown sickness and that was when I realized that slowly but surely paralysis had taken my whole body in its grip. It was a devastating realization! Paralleled with my physical problems, my sleeping disorders also increased. Every night, during the 1st hour of sleep, I would wake up from nightmares every 20 to 30 minutes. And when switching on the light, scary hallucinations continued to haunt me. I also could wake up with my respiration stopped, forcing myself to breathe again, or with my heart vibrating with the staccato of a machinegun. These problems became so bad, that after a while I became afraid of sleep itself. Another problem building up was what I would describe as “electrical currents”. They would run through my whole face and my mouth, sometimes for hours without interruption. My head and mouth felt like a bundle of “short-circuiting” electricity cables; it paralyzed my facial muscles or triggered them to move and it caused my mouth to drool extensively. Then, in early 2003 I had my 1st lung embolism. I was hospitalized and kept on oxygen for a while. By now my life had turned into a nonstop chain of tortures and it was not worth much to me any longer. My very limited mobility and my speech problems resulted in social isolation, but - to be honest - my hypersensitivity for stress also made me to “actively” isolate myself from people. I simply could not manage the emotional weight of social contacts any more, like joy, shock, excitement, etc., nor could I afford to loose the great amounts of energy, which they were costing me. The other isolating factor was, that my memory slowly faded away, causing me to forget things and people. My loss of short-term memory would even make a normal conversation impossible. So I gradually was completely thrown back on myself and both my body and my brain were giving up. At the same time, one after the other, the psychiatrist, the neurologist and the specialist for internal diseases decided to stop seeing me. The “debilitating effect” of my depression, they reasoned, was irreversible and would affect all my muscles, so they stopped their treatments and consultations. The short term “management” of my continuously declining condition would require a wheelchair and a nursing home and finally, all these medical specialists unanimously predicted, my lungs and my heart would give up and that would be the end of it. 15
  • 16. Only my rehabilitation specialist faithfully kept helping me with his exercises. He would teach me, for example, how to hold a cup when I rinsed it, how to lift something from a shelf or grab something from a cupboard. Indeed, the things that were simple for children were very difficult for me. Much to my disgust, my body had increased to appalling proportions, only adding - obviously - to my physical and mental problems. Normally my weight would hover around 80 kilo’s, but at the end of 2003 I weighed an impressive 117 kilo’s or 234 (European) pounds. Wireless Internet allowed me, throughout my sickness, to correspond - among others - with my professor friend Asare in Ghana. He told me that he had a doctor-friend, who would be able to help me. The only thing he needed to diagnose my condition was a small hair specimen. Having lived in Surinam, South America, and in the Caribbean area for several years, and having experienced 1st hand what people can do with these kinds of things, I decided not to send anything; I first wanted to see and talk to this doctor. That’s when Prof Asare invited me to come to Ghana. Even the change of air might do me good, he suggested. The trip from Holland to Ghana was very cumbersome, because I needed a wheelchair and people to help me with everything all the time. My parents, who were both in their eighties at that time, brought me to the airport in Amsterdam. It was an emotional good-bye, because from the beginning they disagreed with my decision to go to Ghana; they were convinced they would never see me alive again. I guess in their hearts they went along with the general prejudice about the “dark continent”: “What good can come from Africa?” I arrived in Ghana on December 23rd, 2003, and stayed with the Asare family. The next week Prof Asare took me to Dr. Lugu-zuri at the Natural Healing Centre. As you can imagine, my memory loss and my speech problems made our communications quite tedious and difficult. However, Dr. Lugu- zuri proved to be a gentle and patient man, so for him that seemed no problem. Dr. Lugu-zuri is also a very thorough man. He used several consultations and a blood test on one of his Radionic computers to arrive at his diagnosis and after our last consultation, he also had my blood tested by the Quest Medical Laboratory in Accra. It is interesting to know how these consultations went. I am used to the type of allopathic doctors, who ask several open questions, and who end their short consultations with: “It’s probably this or that. So let’s try medicine X and if that doesn’t help after two weeks, then we will try something else.” Dr. Lugu-zuri’s consultations were a very sharp contrast to those types of consultations. • First, Dr. Lugu-zuri’s consultations easily lasted more than one hour. In the beginning he also asked me open questions, but gradually he started to ask mostly closed questions, which I could only answer with “Yes” or “No”. This indicated to me, that he already knew what my diagnosis was, and that he just wanted to see his diagnosis confirmed with my answers on his closed questions. • The 2nd difference from my experience with Western allopathic consultations was, that when he presented me with his diagnosis, Dr. Lugu-zuri told me with great certainty what I was suffering from, how long it would take him to cure me and what the price tag was. • And the 3rd and greatest difference was that while the Dutch doctors left me with no hope at all, Dr. Lugu-zuri assured me that he could heal me without any doubt. He also told me, that with his treatment - in which he would attack the causes of my multiple diseases - he would root them out once and for all. In other words: after finishing his treatments, my sicknesses would never come back any more. 16
  • 17. The test results from Quest Laboratory already confirmed part of Dr. Lugu-zuri’s primary diagnosis. It mentioned carcinoma (colon, pancreas, lung and stomach), smokers, non-neoplastic liver disease, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, but Dr. Lugu-zuri’s Primary Diagnosis – which he reached upon by using very sensitive Radionics equipment – contained many more details like: 1. Dysphasia 2. Paralysis of both legs 3. Cerebral paralysis 4. Abdominal cancers 5. Paralysis of the muscular coats of the intestines, resulting in chronic constipation 6. Impaired vision 7. Cerebral hypertrophy 8. Progressive muscular atrophy 9. Spinal apoplexy 10. Lopus Erythematosis 11. Amnesia Further he mentioned Parkinson’s disease, light epileptic seizures, and some other brain related problems. Actually, if one would spread my diseases over a number of people, they eventually would all succumb to their disease. But contrary to my allopathic Dutch specialists, Dr. Lugu-zuri was optimistic. However, he also proved to be a very realistic and down-to-earth man. From the very beginning, he made it clear to me that I had quite a lot of brain damage. Some of it was caused by the combination of lack of oxygen and heart problems and brain cancers caused the remaining destruction. This is why he said, that he could “only” bring me back to 70 – 80% of my former capacities. For me that was a very hopeful prospect and I decided to go for the treatment. The Primary Diagnosis of Dr. Lugu-zuri was the outcome of testing 200 organs and body-parts, and the second diagnosis, the Detailed Diagnosis, is the result of a deeper search into the problem areas of the Primary Diagnosis. Dr. Lugu-zuri did my Detailed Diagnosis when he commenced my treatment and when he had to determine the diet and the Radionic medicines to be “broadcasted” to me. Together the conditions of the Primary Diagnosis and the ones from the Detailed Diagnosis filled more than an A4-sheet, so one can imagine that designing a strategy to attack the combined causes of all these conditions was quite complicated and hence very challenging for Dr. Lugu-zuri. Let me emphasize here, that Dr. Lugu-zuri’s approach of structurally attacking the causes of diseases has proven time and again to be very effective. His success rate is far above average and yet his approach is fundamentally different from my experience with many allopathic methods. For example: • In 1991 my surgeon first removed a small area of ± 2 cm.2. of suspicious skin tissue. The laboratory tested it and diagnosed me with a “malignant skin cancer” which, they said, was potentially deadly. As a result my surgeon cut away a larger area of 5 by 10 cm. or 2 by 4 inches. That, he explained, should contain any possible metastases. With this second operation he cut away the symptom of the cancer – the sick skin tissue, the result of the cause – but he never investigated nor did he ever attack the actual cause of the cancer. • In 1997, after having monitored the scarred area for metastases for ± 6 years and after having established that other skin samples were also free of cancer cells, my surgeon officially declared me “healed” of cancer. However, when I wanted to donate blood to the Red Cross, and they tested my blood, they found cancer cells in it. For me that diagnosis meant that I was not so “healed” at all, and that sooner or later I might have to deal with cancer again. 17
  • 18. • In 2002, when my health problems started to develop, I could not help but intuitively thinking back to the happenings I just described. But, even then, in 2002, the Dutch hospital, with all its fancy state-of-the-art equipment, failed to detect the plentiful new cancer cases in my body, which the Quest Laboratory and Dr. Lugu-zuri were able to find quite easily. So, since the Dutch surgeon only cut away the symptom of the cancer and not the cause, he in fact allowed the same cause of the 1st cancer to reap havoc in so many parts of my body. However, if they had attacked the cause of the cancer, new cases would never have had the chance to develop. My treatment by Dr. Lugu-zuri started with my admission at the natural Healing Centre on the 11th of January 2004 and consisted of diet therapy, Radionic medicines and every other day detoxification massages. To make a long story short: on 15th June 2004 I went home again to Holland with the following changes in my condition accomplished by Dr. Lugu-zuri: • I was able to walk again, strong as a young man. • I could speak fluently again. • My head was a lot clearer. • My Parkinson’s disease was gone and never came back, and I can say the same of my light epileptic seizures, my hallucinations, my sleeplessness, my lung embolism, etc. (Dr. Lugu-zuri dealt with the 2nd Lung Embolic attack, which I had in Natural Healing Centre, by means of the Radionic computer and my pains and problems were gone in ± 1½ hours, and I never had an attack ever since.) • I almost lost almost 25 kilo’s of the 117 kilo’s that I was weighing, when I was admitted at Natural Healing Centre As you can imagine, my family was very excited and moved to see me again. Especially the reaction of my parents, who took me to the airport 6 months before to see me taken to the airplane in a wheelchair and who never expected to see me any more after my departure to Africa, were too moved and grateful. What they saw with their own eyes, but could hardly accept with their heads was that a doctor on “the dark continent” accomplished what specialists in Holland could not achieve and that was a drastic improvement of my condition. The reaction of my doctors was not much different. They could hardly recognize me - so enormous was the difference that dr. Lugu-zuri has made in my appearance, my strength, my mobility, my speech, my reasoning, etc. With the exception of my neurologist – who was on the brink of retirement and believed that I just healed spontaneously – they said that this improvement in my condition was nothing but a miracle. My doctor-friend in the east of the country, who I visit every year, still calls my improvement a miracle. Prior to my last visit to him, he even walked behind me for a while without me knowing it, and he said that he still could not understand how Dr. Lugu-zuri was able to bring me from my immobilized condition to a man who walks with the speed of a young man. Until the present day, he always tells me that my healing is nothing short of a miracle. Dr. Lugu-zuri told me in January 2004, that he could only bring me back for ± 70 – 80% of my previous capacities, because the damage in my head was too extensive to accomplish a 100% cure. So, now I still have certain problems with my memory, my concentration capacities (intensity of focus and duration), my mental and physical energy, etc. These things translate into some practical “handicaps”, that I have to learn to accept and to deal with but in general I can say, that Dr. Lugu-zuri has given me back my life. He brought me back from the darkness into the light and at the moment I do voluntary work in Natural Healing Centre as an Administrative Manager. And I have seen may more “miracles” in Natural Healing Centre ever since. 18
  • 19. Obviously I spoke with many people about my experience. As a result, a friend of mine became the agent of Natural Healing Centre in Holland, and now the first Dutch patients were treated or are still under treatment by Natural Healing Centre. “Implementation of the Regional Strategy for African countries on promoting the role of Traditional Medicine in Health Systems” by Dr. Ossy M.J. Kasilo, Advisor, Traditional Medicine Programme, World Health Organization Africa Regional Office Dr Ossy MJ Kasilo, Regional Adviser in Traditional Medicine at the World Health Organization, Regional Office for Africa presenting on the “Implementation of the Regional Strategy for African countries on promoting the role of Traditional Medicine in Health Systems” (which was adopted by the fiftieth session of WHO Regional Committee for Africa held in Burkina Faso in August 2000), underscored current realistic and effective strategy to stem the spread of HIV infection in the sub- Saharan Africa which is the combination of intensification of HIV prevention efforts with scaling up of treatment and care. The proximity of traditional health practitioners (THPs) to the community make them reliable strip to the community to support families and individuals in particular for home-based care for opportunistic infection. Dr Kasilo focused her speech on achievements and challenges encountered by countries and WHO during the implementation of the five priority interventions of the regional strategy during 2002-2007; which are policy formulation, capacity building, research promotion, local production of traditional medicines including cultivation of medicinal plants; and protection of traditional medical knowledge. Dr. Ossy MJ Kasilo, WHO Afro Advisor on Traditional Medicine presenting at conference She pointed out that with the support of WHO, 21 countries have formulated traditional medicine policies; 18 countries have developed legal frameworks for the practice of traditional medicine; 13 countries have developed codes of ethics and practice for traditional health practitioners; whereas 12 countries have developed strategic plans for implementation of the national traditional medicine policies. In order to support countries translate the regional strategy into realistic national policies, legislation, strategies and plans for specific interventions at national and local levels; WHO developed guidelines for formulation and implementation of national policies; Model legal frameworks for the practice of traditional medicine, Model Code of Ethics for THPs, and development of strategic plan for implementation of national policy. These documents have been combined into one document entitled, Tools for Institutionalizing Traditional Medicine in Health Systems for countries in WHO African Region. She stated that some training institutions such as the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi, Ghana is offering a Bachelor of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine as part of capacity building for pharmacy students. Other countries such as Burkina Faso, Congo, Guinea, Mali and Nigeria teach some aspects of traditional medicine within the curricula of pharmacy students. In some countries, training sessions for THPs for some aspects of primary health care (PHC) have been organized by ministries of health, associations of THPs and non-governmental organizations. In order to support countries incorporate aspects of traditional medicine into the training curricula of health professionals and embark on continuing education and skills development programmes, WHO has developed Guidelines for Training Health Science Students and Continuing Education of Conventional Health Practitioners and a Guide for Training THPs in PHC. These guidelines have been field tested in 19
  • 20. Cameroon, Congo, DRC, Ghana, Mali, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda and will soon be made available to Member States for adaptation to their individual situations. She said that countries are at different stages of conducting research and development (R&D) in order to produce evidence on the safety, efficacy and quality of traditional medicines used for HIV/AIDS, malaria, diabetes, hypertension and sickle-cell anemia. In order to support countries conduct relevant research, WHO has selected the above-mentioned priority diseases for whose treatment, research and development and local production must be accelerated and developed research protocols outlined in the WHO guidelines on clinical evaluation of traditional medicines. She went on to say that some countries have reported that some traditional medicines used for helping people living with HIV/AIDS, have been found to significantly reduce the viral load, increase the CD4/CD8 ratio, improve the general conditions of patients and quality of life, among others. However, more research is needed for better interpretation of these results. Dr. Kasilo also stated that some countries in WHO African Region such as Burkina Faso, DRC, Ghana, Madagascar, Mali, Nigeria and South Africa are locally producing in small-scale, traditional medicines used for malaria, diabetes, sickle cell disease, hypertension, food supplements and medicines which are helping people living with HIV/AIDS. The national drug regulatory authorities in these countries have issued marketing authorizations for traditional medicines used for the treatment of the five diseases mentioned above and for respiratory tract infections and hypotension. In order to support countries identify candidates of traditional medicinal products for registration purposes, actively promote in collaboration with other partners, the conservation of medicinal plants and the development of local production of traditional medicines, WHO has developed a Regional framework and plan of action (2006-2010) for development of capacities on local production of traditional medicines and Guidelines for registration of traditional medicines in WHO African Region. Dr. Kasilo emphasized that protection of traditional medical knowledge and access to biological resources in WHO African Region is paramount due to current unacceptable high rates of biopiracy. However, currently there is no agreed framework at international level as to how African traditional medical knowledge should be protected. Many of our traditional health practitioners and indigenous communities are hesitant and sometimes afraid to share their knowledge due to reports on biopiracy, unfair benefit sharing of resources and misuse of intellectual property rights (IPRs). In order to support countries actively promote in collaboration with all other partners, the protection of IPRs and indigenous knowledge in the field of traditional medicine, WHO has developed guidelines on national policy for the protection of traditional medical knowledge and access to biological resources and WHO model law for the protection of traditional medical knowledge and access to biological resources in WHO African Region. “Contribution of PROMETRA International in the fight against epidemic, endemic and emerging diseases" by Traditional Dr. Togbega Dabra VI, CEO, Association for the Promotion of Traditional Medicine Ghana Delivering the paper entitled “Contribution of PROMETRA International in the fight against epidemic, endemic and emerging diseases" on behalf of Dr. Erick Gbodossou, President of the Association for the Promotion of Traditional Medicine (PROMETRA), Traditional Doctor Togbega Dabra VI, recounted the works and achievements of PROMETRA over a period of 3 decades. He said PROMETRA believes that positive progress in the area of health care and health education requires two elements: the right message and the right messenger. In sub-Saharan Africa, approximately 85% of the population receives their health education and health care from traditional practitioners. Without a doubt, the traditional healer is the right messenger. The right message is a critical component, especially in the fight to overcome the misconceptions and mistruths that are often spread through charlatans. PROMETRA developed the FAPEG curriculum to provide a cultural competent, scientifically sound training program for non readers. This curriculum covers the subjects 20
  • 21. of HIV/AIDS, infant oral rehyradtion, and natural family planning. Since 1999, PROMETRA has trained over 5000 traditional healers using this curriculum. Togbega Dabra VI of Prometra speaking at the conference He said Prometra has successfully carried out clinical research study on the efficacy of an African herbal medicine (METRAFAID) in the treatment of HIV positive African population; been able to measure viral loads, CD4 counts, clinical symptoms in three cohorts of 68 adult patients. Vitro study of herbal microbiocide is pending. He said African States should consider the fight against malnutrition as another dimension in the struggle against HIV/AIDS pandemic, which is ravaging the continent. In conclusion, he said Africans should rely upon their traditional knowledge and skills which have helped them maintain epidemiologal balance throughout their history, in fighting HIV/AIDS and other emerging diseases. “Traditional Medicine in Ghana versus Conventional Medicine in the fight against Chronic Diseases: The struggle and controversy” by Godfred Yaw Boateng, General Secretary, Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Association Mr. Godfred Yaw Boateng speaking on the subject “Traditional Medicine in Ghana versus Conventional Medicine in the fight against Chronic Diseases: The struggle and controversy” said that the situation of developing traditional medicine in Ghana might be quite different as compared with many African countries and elsewhere because Ghana is now a shinning example to many countries due to its achievements in advancing traditional medicine to its present level of practice. He said that the operation of traditional medicine centers in their early days in Ghana, then the Gold Coast, were shrouded with a lot of secrecy and controversies due to religion and secular education. The imprisonment of few renowned traditional medicine practitioners for having manufactured herbal products as the ALAFIA Bitters for commercialization in the 1950s, motivated practitioners to form an Association to fight for their rights in the health care delivery system. He said the first Association called Ghana Psychic and Traditional Healers Association, brought all the divine healers and herbalists together under one umbrella. The Government of Ghana, because of the importance it attaches to the development of traditional medicine in the country since indigenous practitioners represents an indispensable partners in the healthcare delivery, has over time, encouraged a newer umbrella the “Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM)” to flourish with a national membership of between 20,000 and 40,000 practitioners. The government has also succeeded in the following areas of traditional medicine development: (i) Setting up of a Directorate in charge of Traditional & Alternative Medicine. (ii) Drafted a legal frame work which is backed by Act 575 of 2000. (iii) Code of Ethics for Traditional Medicine Practitioners (TMPs) 21
  • 22. (iv) National Strategic Plan for Traditional and Alternative Medicine Development in Ghana (v) Research institutions to Research into Traditional Medicine CSRIPM (vi) Graduate Training for Bachelor of Science Herbal studies at KNUST. In spite of the Government’s strong backing for traditional medicine, he said medical doctors in Ghana still see the practice of traditional medicine as ‘unhygienic or unscientific” even though some them quietly seek treatment for themselves or their relatives from traditional medicine practitioners. Godfred Boateng, Secretary General of Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Assn presenting Mr. Boateng said that the question that many people are asking “Is whether traditional medicine could have answers to problems such as cancers, hypertension, diabetes and even HIV/AIDS where modern medicine has failed?” As we would learn from the proceedings of this conference, traditional medicine indeed has many answers to many of the seemingly incurable diseases of the day. He said the most controversial issue in Ghana as it relates to moving traditional medicine to the level where practitioners could effectively and adequately contribute to the national health care delivery system is the setting up of the Traditional Medicine Practice Council which will implement and regulation traditional medicine practice in the country. “Collaboration between scientists and healers – what approach is possible?” by Essossiminam Lakassa, Representative of Togo Traditional Therapeutic Medicine Practitioners Association Speaking on the subject “Collaboration between scientists and healers – what approach is possible?” Mr. Lakassa Essossiminam, representative of the Togo Traditional Therapeutic Medicine Practitioners Association, said that collaboration between healers and scientists is presently difficult because of language barrier and illiteracy on the part of the healers. He said the scientists expect the traditional healers to speak and understand their language and customs. However, the healers have had no training in order to work effectively with the scientist. He said because of this, the views and most importantly, traditional methodologies which could benefit the nations in healing diseases and advance primary healthcare are missed. Lawrence Sewer, Peter Avinu, Essossiminam Lakassa and Alfons de Wert at exhibition grounds 22
  • 23. He also said that most healers are not organized and so they are unable to articulate their positions or promote their missions in the communities. He made example of the association of traditional medicine practitioners who have organized themselves in Ghana under the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM) and are making strides in traditional medicine practice in the country, and suggested that other healers should emulate GHAFTRAM. He said it is essential for the Government, international and local non-governmental organizations, scientists and orthodox medical practitioners to enter into partnerships with traditional healers and to contribute resources for the training of the latter in health education in order to make them not only agents for prevention and treatment of diseases but also health educators in their communities. He said something must urgently be done about the lack of laws to protect the interests of traditional medicine practitioners to enable them feel confident in revealing and sharing their healing preparations to the scientific community for evaluation of efficacy, safety and development into universally acceptable and affordable drugs to the populations in demand of treatment. DAY TWO – MARCH 11, 2008 - SECOND PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION The dynamics and impact of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and mental disorders, on the socio-economy of the developing world. “Ghana AIDS Commission's expectations of Traditional Medicine in the fight against HIV/AIDS” by Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa, Director-General, Ghana AIDS Commission Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa serving as the Chairman of this session, stated that the Ghana AIDS Commission appreciates the tremendous efforts being made by herbal practitioners to find “a cure” for HIV/AIDS as well as their contribution to promotion of the health of majority of Ghanaians through the services they offer. This is the reason why Ghana’s Federation of Traditional Medicine Association has a representation on the Commission. He said Ghana like many other countries recognizes HIV and AIDS as a major developmental and human rights issue and as a leading cause of death in Africa with nearly 70% of infected people living in the sub-region. The national prevalence rate of Ghana is 1.9% (2007). In absolute terms about 300,000 HIV/AIDS cases are now reported in Ghana. Of this number 63% are women and girls. The youth contribute about 30% of the national prevalence rate. Currently, about 81,000 of the 300,000 infected people are AIDS patients. Out of the 81,000 AIDS patients about 12,500 are on ART. ART which is not free in Ghana is being administered in 48 treatment sites in the country. Treatment is highly subsidized by government and the patient pays only about GH¢5.00 for a one month’s treatment. Despite the high subsidy some PLWHAs cannot afford payment of the GH¢5.00. Furthermore the health delivery system cannot meet the treatment needs of the PLWHAs. Consequently most of PLWHAs turn to herbal practitioners and other alternative medicare practitioners for help. It is thus obvious that traditional herbal medicine plays major role in the treatment of HIV & AIDS patients in Ghana and their role cannot be underrated. 23
  • 24. Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa, Director General of Ghana AIDS Commission addressing the conference He said the Ghana AIDS Commission on several occasions has emphasized its appreciation of the potential of herbal treatment to supplement orthodox treatment and indicated that it will support research into herbal medicine preparations and its treatment for HIV/AIDS in Ghana. Consequently, the Ghana AIDS Commission has linked up with the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research in the establishment of a centre for testing of herbal preparations. The centre has conducted a series of tests on herbal preparations referred to it. The Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research is also being supported by GAC to conduct research into the effects of Alfalfa Leaf Nutrient cake supplementation on the nutritional status of HIV/AIDS patients. He said the Commission has also provided funds to the Institute of Science and Technology for Africa of Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology to do a study on “Evaluation of the Potentialities of Medicinal Plants as Anti Retroviral Therapy Against HIV/AIDS in Comparison with the Higher Active Anti-Retroviral Therapy”. Apart from support to the universities, the Commission has provided financial assistance to some herbal practitioners such as Bible Research Sanitarium, MAPS Medical Centre and Prometra for work being done on herbal medicine. He said his Commission’s major worry however is the over enthusiasm of some herbal practitioners in claiming that their preparations and concoctions can “cure” the disease when not much research has been concluded on the preparations. Our major expectation then is that the herbal practitioners particularly the traditional healers need to understand that unless the necessary tests both safety and clinical had been done on the preparations, the Commission cannot promote the preparations. Another expectation of his Commission is that the umbrella organizations such as Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Association and Prometra should take the lead in supporting the Ministry of Health in educating some of the herbal practitioners on the basic information on HIV/AIDS; management of HIV/AIDS, management of opportunistic infections and on HIV/AIDS counseling. I believe that lack of knowledge of and inadequate information on the HIV/AIDS itself is what is driving some of the herbal practitioners to think that the HIV/AIDS can easily be treated with their preparations and make wild claims of discovery of “cures” in our part of the world. Another expectation is how the traditional herbal practitioners can work with scientists or health professionals in developing their preparations. There are more scientific research institutions that can lead research on herbal medicine. However, we recognize that herbal medicine practitioners do not seem to trust our universities, research centers and institutes to entrust their preparations for them to work on. The fear of traditional herbal practitioners that their preparations may be stolen from them by the scientists or researchers is deep. We hope the academicians and other health professionals will find a way of developing the confidence of the herbal practitioners in collaborating with them. GAC believes that it is only through proper collaboration and coordinated efforts that herbal medicine research in Ghana could be effectively promoted. Finally, he said there is the need for international pharmaceutical companies and firms to put their expertise and funds in support of African Traditional Herbal Practitioners as they work towards finding a herbal preparation for HIV/AIDS. This is because there is enough evidence to support the potential in some herbal preparations which can be developed. However, lack of financial support is 24
  • 25. definitely affecting serious research on herbal medicine. There is also the belief among herbal practitioners that international pharmaceutical companies are apprehensive of the potential of a cure being discovered from herbal preparation and there is therefore a conspiracy on the part of pharmaceutical companies to frustrate the traditional medicine practitioners in their work. If the pharmaceutical companies can provide financial and technical assistance to herbal practitioners, I believe strongly that research into traditional medicine in Africa could yield positive results. Our expectation is indeed high that one day a cure would be found either through orthodox or traditional medicine. “Control of HIV/AIDS in Bayelsa State – The Journey so far” by Honourabloe Rodney Edisemi Ere, Executive Secretary, Bayelsa State Action Committee on HIV/AIDS, Nigeria Speaking on the topic “Control of HIV/AIDS in Bayelsa State – The Journey so far” Honourabloe Rodney Edisemi Ere informed the conference that one of the most challenging health issues on the global scene today that has caught the attention of even non-health professionals, remains the HIV/AIDS pandemic. He said the disease has continued to arouse concern ranging from individuals to governments, private sectors, non-governmental organizations, civil society organizations, multinationals, religious and traditional institutions. He said statistical report shows that Sub-Saharan Africa is one largest region hit by the pandemic of which Nigeria is affected. And more especially Bayelsa State in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, which was one of the burden states among the first three states with highest prevalence rate. According to the National HIV Sero-prevalence Survey reports, Bayelsa State has had the following prevalence rates; 7.2% in 1999, 4.2% in 2001, 4.0% in 2003, 3.8% in 2005, and 3.2% in 2007. It is in the light of this apparent decreasing trend in the prevalence rate of HIV/AIDS in Bayelsa State that we are encouraged to share some of the measures taken as a state in standing up to the challenge “Fight against HIV/AIDS”. Honourable Rodney Ere, Secretary General of Bayelsa State Action Committee on AIDS, Nigeria, speaking at the conference He said the Bayelsa State Government constituted and inaugurated a 20 members Board called The State Action Committee On AIDS under the leadership of a Chairman. The members are drawn from different sectors such as Ministries of Health, Information, Education, Gender, Agriculture and Youths, People Living with HIV/AIDS are represented in the board membership as well as Religious Community, Traditional Institutions and Civil Society Organizations. This is important as it widened the platform for decision making. BYSACA swung into Action and one of the first achievements was that the State Government: Enacted a policy on Free Antiretroviral Drug. Ten Thousand Naira (N10, 000.00) monthly to assist the nutritional need of the people living with HIV/AIDS. Free Counselling and Testing 25
  • 26. A massive awareness campaign programme - “Three Arms Road Walk” was done to create Awareness about HIV/AIDS throughout the State. This involved the Executive, Legislative and Judiciary Arms of Government in the Advocacy on HIV/AIDS. This indeed became a global referral point for the Advocacy on HIV/AIDS. This advocacy and awareness campaign was spread to the school youths that are sexually active through a standing committee inaugurated by SACA. Called SACA Strategic Intellectual Awareness Campaign Team (SSIACT). The Committee was charged with the responsibility of conducting inter-secondary school debates and quizzes on HIV/AIDS topics. Information, Education, Communication materials on HIV/AIDS in form of fliers, exercise books with HIV Advocacy messages were distributed to all secondary schools in the state. The level of awareness became appreciable especially in the Urban Areas, and following these massive campaigns, it became necessary to get the awareness to the grass-roots, the very rural populace in the communities embedded in the creeks, and most especially to have an entry point where each Bayelsan can get a confidential discussion (counsel) on HIV/AIDS. The Bayelsa State Counselling and Testing Centre was established where every Bayelsan can go for counselling and tested to know his status. Local Government Action Committee on AIDS (LACA) was also constituted and inaugurated with 5 members from each of the 8 local government areas of the State, which have been charged with the responsibility of co-ordinating grass-root awareness campaign and implementation of the State’s response plans on HIV/AIDS. In the same vein, the following models which are rural driven are on going: Weekly One On One Public Discussion on HIV/AIDS awareness in Native Languages and Live Phone-in Discussion on Radio Station. One o One and Group Discussion on HIV/AIDS on every Wednesday in the week. Native Languages Adverts on HIV/AIDS Education and Stigmatization. SACA also launched her official website with domain name: for other Bayelsans to access information on HIV/AIDS. In the area of Capacity Building, SACA did not relent in her effort to organize trainings and workshops for: SACA Members LACA Members Line Ministries People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) Civil Society Organizations Non-Governmental Organizations and General Public. Prospectively, SACA has the following Plan: 1. To work towards the Conversion of SACA to An Agency. 2. Expansion of VCT Centre that would include the Eight Local Government Areas in Bayelsa State. 3. To collaborate with International NGOs, CBOs, FBOs and others 4 Expansion of HIV/AIDS Treatment and Care Centers -ART to include the Eight Local 26
  • 27. Government Areas in Bayelsa State. 5 Capacity Building and Infrastructure Development for VCT to include the Eight Local Government Areas. 6. To collaborate with Bayelsa State CBOs, NGOs , FBOs, Multinational Sector 7. Expansion of PMTCT Centre in the Eight Local Government Areas in Bayelsa 8. SACA will sensitize State Assembly officers/principal officer of LGA Legislators & Chairman of House Committee on Health & HIV/AIDS activities. 9. Hold bi-annual consultative meeting with focus on strengthening, public & private partnership. 10. Strengthen SACA mass media collaboration to enhance HIV/AIDS response in the State. 11. Conduct workshop for all of line ministries on governance and HIV/AIDS. 12. Facilitate capacity building for HIV/AIDS CSOs and networks in the State on: Networking and network management. 13. Conduct TOT workshop on Core HIV/AIDS Prevention issues such as: Reproductive and sexual Health, Gender and HIV/AIDS, abstinence, CT, PMTCT, Condom use, Mutual Fidelity, stigma reduction, developed curriculum. 14. Facilitate capacity building for HIV/AIDS CSOs and networks in the State on: Networking and network management. 15. Develop and produce Entertaining and Educative drama on STIs/HIV/AIDS. 16. Develop, produce and disseminate gender sensitive IEC materials on PMTCT Having enumerated these achievements and the prospective ones, this presentation will not be complete without mentioning some of the challenges: (a) Difficult terrain (transportation logistics and accessibility) (b) Availability of funds (No amount of financial resource could possibly be sufficient for a holistic control of the pandemic) (c) Problem of Stigmatization received by People Living with HIV/AIDS. It is in view of these challenges that Bayelsa State Action Committee On AIDS, extended invitation to collaborators and partners in this fight against HIV/AIDS, which call to all and sundry has been heeded by some Donor Agencies and International Non- Governmental Organizations such as: World Bank Bill Clinton Foundation NIDAR Shell BASAI (Bayelsans Stay Alive Initiative) 27
  • 28. In conclusion, Bayelsa State Action Committee On AIDS having taken the lead in the advocacy on HIV/AIDS awareness calls on all and sundry in fighting the scourge of HIV/AIDS to the zero- tolerance level. "The overview of the global AIDS epidemic: The sub-Saharan situation and the role UNAIDS expects of Traditional Healers to play in the prevention and eradication of the disease" by Dr. Leopold Zekeng, UNAIDS Coordinator for Ghana Dr. Leopold Zekeng, UNAIDS Coordinator for Ghana spoke on the subject "The overview of the global AIDS epidemic: The sub-Saharan situation and the role UNAIDS expects of Traditional Healers to play in the prevention and eradication of the disease". He used slides to establish the current estimates of HIV/AIDS infections globally and regionally by continent. He said usually around December, WHO and UNAIDS use data that are generated from surveys carried out at the country level, and based upon modules on projection come up with what is the current situation of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the world. So as of December 2007, we can see from the slide that there were 33 million people living world wide with the virus. About 31 million are adults, and about 60% of the infected people, world wide are women but if we break this number down to Africa, looking at feminization, about 60% of those who are infected would be women because of the specific vulnerability of women to HIV/AIDS. When we look at HIV/AIDS infections among children, as of December 2007 about 2.5 million were children less than 15 years of age. The next slide shows new infections. Again, as of December 2007, there were 2.5 million new infections which had taken a huge toll on adults and children under 15 years of age mostly because of transmission of the virus from mother to child but also because of transfusion of unscreened blood to children. There were 2.1 million AIDS deaths; about 1.7 million adults and still half a million of children under the age of 15 years and again the issue here had to do with diagnosis and also availability of pediatric treatment. The next slide shows the geographical distribution of estimated adults and children infected with HIV/AID as of 2007 per continent. From this slide, out of the 33 million people infected with HIV/AIDS world wide, 22.5 million live in sub-Sahara Africa, 1.3 million in North America, 1.6 million in Latin America, 4 million in South and South East Asia, 380,000 in Middle East, 760,000 in Western and Central Europe, 1.6 million in Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 800,000 East Asia, 75,000 in Oceania and 230,000 in the Caribbean. When we look at the new infections of 2.5 million by December 2007, 1.7 million of which occur in sub-Sahara, we can see that prevention interventions to curb the spread of the disease are still not working as one had wished. Western and Central Europe new infection estimate of 31,000 as compared to 46,000 in Northern America and again we are seeing a surge of new infections of about 400,000 in South and South East Asia. Dr. Leopold Zekeng, UNAIDS Ghana Coordinator, speaking at the conference About two thirds of the new infections are occurring in sub-Sahara Africa so it is important for us to discuss how African traditional medicine practitioners associations can be involved in the whole response. 28
  • 29. The death toll was 2.1 million world-wide, 1.6 million of which was in sub-Sahara Africa. Although there are life-saving drugs - meaning antiretroviral drugs for the treatment of opportunistic infections, unfortunately there are issues pertaining to scaling up, issues pertaining to update, issues pertaining to our health systems which may not be in the position to address the problems although drugs may be available to ensure that those who are in need really have access to them in order to live a normal life as to compared to only 12,000 deaths in Western and Central Europe and 21,000 deaths in North America because there UNAIDS has been able to provide life saving treatments – triple to quadruple combination therapies in ensuring that those infected can live a normal life. Again the issue here is limitation of access to antiretroviral drugs. Children under 15 years of age living with HIV/AIDS in sub-Sahara Africa by December 2007 was estimated at 2.2 million as compared to only 3,000 children in Western and Central Europe because UNAIDS has been providing some interventions for the prevention of mother to child transmission, including screening of pregnant women, the provision of antiretroviral treatment be it a single therapy or a combination of two or three drugs. In that part of the continent, it is made sure that pregnant women are screened and if found positive are given antiretroviral treatment and if we move from a single to triple combination therapy, the risk of transmission from the pregnant mother to the new born is less than 1%. Whereas in sub-Sahara Africa, we are still faced with providing screening for our pregnant women, and after screening if found positive, provide antiretroviral drugs, and then after that intervention, ensure that some of the interventions such as breastfeeding which also has the potential of increasing the transmission is not added on to mother to child transmission. If we cannot screen the pregnant mother and to provide her with drug interventions, one of the consequences is that there will be imported risk of the transmission from the mother to the child and this accounts for the estimated new number of children of less than 15% - about 500,000 occurring in sub-Sahara Africa for the reasons already given. One of the challenges we are facing with the AIDS epidemic has to do with making sure that children who are infected with the AIDS virus can definitely have access to antiretroviral drugs. One of the concerns relates to the pediatric formulation of antiretroviral drugs, their uptake and availability. Although there is availability of combinations of antiretroviral drugs for adults, ensuring that infected children can benefit from such drugs is still a challenge and as a result, we can see that about 330,000 deaths more than 80% are occurring in sub-Sahara Africa. There were 6,800 daily new infections by December 2007, 96% of which were in low income countries majority of them are in Africa. About 1,200 are in children under 15 years old; about 5,800 are in adults aged 15 and older of whom 54% are women and 40% are among young people between the ages 15 and 24. When we look at this statistics we see that about 60% are women in Africa. So if we want to throw a light and see where traditional medicine and indigenous knowledge could be of help, I think there is no doubt that prevention remains one of the major areas. I see this very important body playing a key role in preventing new infections by ensuring that the various messages and strategies which are well defined now in majority of the countries ranging from behavior change communication to promoting access to prevention of mother to child transmission, voluntary counseling and testing, are carried not only to the central level but importantly on community levels. In one of the slides, I made reference to the fact that access to treatment, care and support especially in Africa is very limited despite the 3 by 5 initiative - the universal access to HIV treatment care and support. As we speak, based upon WHO statistics about less than 10% of those infected with HIV/AIDS in Africa who are in need of antiretroviral drugs, have access to care and treatment and less than 2% of infected children who are in need of antiretroviral drugs have access. So the second role traditional healers and indigenous knowledge can play in the fight against HIV is by providing not only the necessary care and support so that those who are on antiretroviral drugs can continue to take the drugs but more importantly, the whole intervention of home based care on the community 29
  • 30. level. Another key area is providing care and support to the 15 million orphans, including education, nutritional and medical support. I strongly believe that some where in the vine, a compound which will definitely have the effect someday and somewhere of blocking the HIV virus from infecting the cell might be found. I really think we need to be cautious. If we do not have the evidence we should not make the claims that we can cure AIDS. We should support the current life saving treatment which is the antiretroviral drugs instead of giving false hopes. “A Cancer Study Using Garlic, Allium sativum, Cultured Cells and Laboratory Mice as a Model System” by Dr. Emmanuel E. Brako, Winona State University, Winona, Minnesota, USA. Dr. Emmanuel Brako presenting on the topic “A Cancer Study Using Garlic, Allium sativum, Cultured Cells and Laboratory Mice as a Model System” said that the purpose of this study was to determine the effects of aqueous garlic extract, AGER and AGEC, on hybridoma cell growth, both in- vitro and in-vivo. He said in vitro study showed that both AGER and AGEC at high concentration (1:10 dilution) were toxic to the hybridoma cells. By contrast, at the lower concentrations of AGER and AGEC (1:500 and 1:1000 dilution) hybridoma growth was not inhibited but appeared similar to the control result. These data indicate that in vitro, garlic exhibits a dose-dependent effect on hybridoma cell proliferation. Dr. Emmanuel Brako of Winona State University presenting at the conference In the in vivo study, in which mice were exposed to 1:100 dilution of garlic in their drinking water and were subsequently injected with hybridoma cells, he said it was interesting to note that after the hybridoma (or cancer cell) challenge, the average weight for the AGER-treated group increased at a faster rate than the other groups. Presumably, this reflects increased growth of hybridoma cells or hybridoma-derived tumors in this group. This contrasts with the in vitro result where hybridoma growth was inhibited by 1:100 dilution of AGER. These results suggest that hybridoma cells may behave differently under in vitro and in vivo conditions. Tumors, observed as disseminated whitish nodular structures, were found on abdominal organs of the hybridoma-challenged mice but not in those of control unchallenged mice. Finally, there was no statistical difference in the survival rate between the three hybridoma-challenged groups. He stated that the main limitation in the in vivo study was the relatively small number of mice used. A possible modification for future studies should be to use larger populations of mice for statistically significant results, and also to use longer AGE exposure prior to the hybridoma challenge, as well as longer observation period after i.p. injection of the cells. Another modification for future in vivo studies should be to include a group of control mice that are treated with AGER and AGEC, but not challenged with hybridoma cells. This control group would be used to determine if the garlic alone displayed any effect in-vivo. Overall, the study provides a useful biological model for studying the anticarcinogenic properties of medicinal herbs or for investigating the consequences of the interaction between herbal plant extracts and cancers of B cells of the immune system, he concluded. ”Mono Sodium Glutamate or (MSG) and its possible connection with many chronic diseases” by Fiona Eberts, Journalist/Founder and Executive Director of Action on Moringa Nutrition in Ghana (AMONG). Fiona Eberts presenting on ”Mono Sodium Gllutamate or (MSG), and its possible connection with many chronic diseases” raised the question “What is making us ill? 30
  • 31. She laid out the following as possible reasons: a. Infectious diseases – malaria, AIDS, TB etc. b. Injury, (violence, accidents) c. Drug/medicine interactions (polypharmacy) d. Vaccinations? e. Stress – emotional, physical, spiritual f. Sleep deprivation g. Water – contaminated or inadequate h. Food - what we take in with our food and nutrients we lack, contributing to chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension etc. i. Malnutrition, marasmus, kwashikor etc. j. Air Pollution k. Epidemic of chronic diseases She said in the West major infectious diseases has been replaced by an epidemic of chronic conditions – coronary disease, arthritis, asthma, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, morbid obesity and so on due to so-called diseases of affluence no exercise, too much meat, alcohol, stress, sugar etc. We have more and cheaper food but a different kind of food. Fiona Eberts, Founder and Executive Director of AMONG Ghana She said these chronic conditions are now being seen in less developed countries along with the usual load of infectious diseases. She suggested the following as the reasons for the above conditions: 1. What food, grown where and how? 2. Farmland now degraded by overuse of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides. 3. Declining levels of micronutrients and minerals. 4. Land cannot sustain optimum plant and therefore animal and human health. 5. Spinach grown in the 1920’s had more iron than a bowl of spinach today. 6. We are overfed and undernourished. She stated that a similar situation is now found in many other countries which practice the same kind of agriculture. For example, third world farmers are pressured to buy chemicals, pesticides, “terminator” seeds etc. As a result, initial high yields fall off – leaving heavy debts and no seed stock. She said food is no longer grown carefully by small scale farmers or in garden plots. Rather it is being done by agribusinesses – huge commercial operations involved in poultry, cattle, soy, wheat, corn etc, which utilize enormous amounts of chemical fertilizers, growth hormones, pesticides in the growth of food for consumption. 31
  • 32. She said organic food is only good as the soil it is grown on. Even if it has not been sprayed or grown with chemicals, nutrient content can still be low. Restoring degraded soils is long and difficult process. Needs, humus, rock dust, re-introduction of beneficial organisms. She then posed the question “What happens after food is produced?” She suggested that nutrients are removed during food processing: white flour, all roughage and bran removed white rice – the nutritious mesoderm between the husk and grain are removed, leaving just starch white sugar – dark brown colour with many B vitamins taken out in processing, leaving empty calories. Oils are refined and hydrogenated, turned into unnatural products like margarine which the food police tell us is “heart healthy” and better than butter. Good oils “demonized” Milk – good butterfat removed, milk pasteurized, homogenized, turned into a drink to be avoided. What do we put into food? Colourings – i.e.yellow 60, red 40 (Both contain aluminium) Preservatives Anti-clumping agents Emulsifiers Sweeteners and 2 most toxic ingredients in food: Aspartame (artificial sweetener) Sweet n’low, Candarel (in Europe) Monosodium Glutamate (MSG aka – white Maggi, Ajinomoto, Ac’cent Both MSG and Aspartame are “excito-toxins”. They stimulate taste receptors to register flavours. The way they work is not fully understood. Many people are very sensitive or allergic to both these. Glutamate in living things: It is found naturally in our bodies and in protein-containing foods, such as cheese, milk, meat, peas, and mushrooms. Some glutamate is in foods in a "free" form. It is in this free form that glutamate can enhance a food's flavor. Part of the flavor-enhancing effect of tomatoes, certain cheeses, and fermented or hydrolyzed protein products (such as soy sauce) is due to the presence of free glutamate. Asians originally used a seaweed broth to obtain the flavor- enhancing effects of MSG. Now MSG is made by a fermenting process using starch, sugar beets, sugar cane, or molasses. World-wide sales of MSG projected to be 2.1 Million metric tons by 2010. (Figures from Ajinomoto Co., largest manufacturer of flavourings. Symptoms of MSG toxicity It mimics other diseases symptoms - so MSG goes unsuspected as cause. It generates the following: Headaches, asthma, muscle aches Extreme thirst Blurred vision 32
  • 33. Weight gain, obesity, Depression and many others She said MSG in almost all prepared foods, Fast foods, Maggi Bouillon cubes Biscuits and snack foods Babies formulas and jars Ice cream Many other products Even sprayed on crops to hasten growth She said some of the effects of MSG are: Obesity Hypertension Diabetes Visual problems and many other conditions Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) She said epidemic of hypertension in Africa, Asia, South America, India and China CANNOT be due to “life style” changes alone. Epidemiologists usually look at salt consumption in connection with high BP but overlook MSG and Aspartame. Stroke from high BP is seen even in rural areas where populations are not obese, sedentary, eating western foods. So what has changed in their traditional diets? She said Maggi cubes and “white Maggi Powder” are used instead of traditional flavouring: Dawadawa, soumbala natto, miso etc. She said MSG has a vasoconstrictive effect and interfere with other medications. Millions of people are now taking calcium channel blocking medication to treat high blood pressure. The Glutamate in MSG acts as a calcium channel opener. Talking about diabetes, she said that MSG stimulates the pancreas to produce insulin. Diets these days are concerned about the Glycemic Index of foods and yet none of them address the fact that MSG and free glutamic acid stimulate the pancreas to release insulin even when there are no carbohydrates in the food for that insulin to act on. MSG is an addictive. Food industries have found their own "anti-appetite suppressant" – a convenient way to keep consumers coming back for more. Blood sugar drops because of the insulin flood then one is hungry an hour later. Excess Insulin release triggers hunger and can lead to obesity and insulin resistance in lab animals. These glutamate-induced obese animals become resistant to leptin - a hormone that balances normal metabolic processes. Mice are made obese in laboratories by being fed with MSG. Obesity is now becoming huge problem in China, India and South America. Obesity, diabetes, hypertension are often seen together. Way forward She suggested that we throw the magi cubes and MSG powder away and not to use sugar substitutes. She said we should try honey if we must use sugar. These substitutes make you fat, and cause diabetes. We should stop drinking minerals (sodas) especially “DIET” drinks. New research from Purdue University has found that diet sodas cause obesity. Food industry knew about this problem years ago. 33
  • 34. FDA speeded up approval of Aspartame (political reasons?) Aspartame has more complaints registered against it than any other additive. She also suggested simple modifications to diet as follows: Avoid packaged, prepared foods where possible. Eat more raw and fresh fruits and vegetables. Re-hydrate! Drink more plain water – rather than sodas and favoured drinks. Carefully check labels and ingredient lists. Manufacturers hide MSG by calling it: - hydrolized protein, - ‘flavouring’ - spices - natural flavours - These ALL contain MSG. Seek INDEPENDENT information Approved by the FDA doesn’t mean it is safe. E.g. Recall of Celebrex, Vioxx, Avandia and many more AFTER approval. Aspartame ‘fast-tracked’ Other actions to be taken are: Advise friends, family and clients to THROW AWAY THEIR MSG FLAVOURING. Don’t be ‘brainwashed’ by thinking all good things come from the West. Do look to the richness in front of you in Africa. MORINGA! Red Palm Fruit Oil, Coconut milk and oil. Shea butter. Practise stress reducing activities such as simple breathing exercises, Meditation, stretching. Ask questions – don’t take what “they” want you to believe Find something to enjoy each day! “Moringa – its nutritional, health, social and economic benefits to the nations” by Mr. George Zokli of Moffen Consult of Ghana. Speaking on the topic “Moringa – its nutritional, health, social and economic benefits to the nations” Mr. George Zokli pointed out several benefits which can be derived from the multipurpose Moringa tree as follows: Fast growing Bears fruit within the same first year Moringa grows up to 4 meters Virtually every part of the tree is beneficial Use of Moringa for medicinal purposes The juice from the leaves is used to stabilize blood pressure Flowers of moringa tree are used to cure inflammation Pods of the tree are used to treat joint pain Roots are used to treat rheumatism The bark of the tree can be chewed to induce digestion 34
  • 35. Other uses of Moringa The leaves are eaten as vegetables Fresh leaves – can be steamed Dried and ground Can be chewed raw Blend and refrigerate –drop in soup or stew Used in petties – bread filler Pods may be eaten when soft and green or like green beans From left to right: Traditional Doctor Togbega Dabra VI of Prometra Ghana, Fiona Eberts of AMONG, Dr. Ossy MJ Kasilo of WHO Afro, George Zokli of Moffern Consult, Peter Avinu of Peter’s Herbal Centre and one of participants. May be sliced into soup and stews Dry seeds can be ground to a powder and used for seasoning sauces. The roots from the young plants may be dried and ground for use as a hot seasoning base. Flowers can be eaten raw or by slight steaming and can be added to salads The young pods contain free leucine Leaves and branches may be used for fodder; Leaves may be used in mulching system The leaves, pods, or drumsticks have commercial value and are exportable The seeds give high grade oil comparable to olive oil The dry seeds may be used to purify water NUTRITIONAL BENEFITS The young leaves are commonly cooked – soups, stews and salads. They are exceptionally good source of: Provitamin A Vitamin B Vitamin C Minerals: Iron Calcium Phosphorus Magnesium Sodium Potassium Manganese Zinc Copper 35
  • 36. Amino Acid composition of Moringa leaves are: Lysine Leucine Isoleucine Methionine Cystine Phenylalanine Tyrosine Valine Histidine Threonine Serine Glutamic Acid Proline Aspartic Acid Proline Glycine Alanine Arginine Tryptophan Supply of Recommended Daily Allowance 25 grams daily of Moringa Leaf Powder will give a child the following (based on RDA): Protein – 42% Calcium – 125% Magnesium– 61% Potassium– 41% Iron – 71% Vitamin A – 272% Vitamin C – 22% General Nutritional Information Moringa leaves are full of essential disease-preventing nutrients: Vitamin A, which acts as a shield against eye disease, skin disease, heart ailments, diarrhea, and many other diseases. Vitamin C, fighting a host of illnesses including colds and flu. Calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth, and helps prevent osteoporosis. Potassium, essential for the functioning of the brain and nerves. Proteins, the basic building blocks of all our body cells. Changes in health status among children of ADRA clients You can have a moringa plantation Moringa Oleifera and Water Purification Within the pods are possibly the best parts of the tree...the seeds! Not only can they be pressed for a high-grade oil, comparable to olive oil, but the press-cake remaining after oil extraction has been shown to retain the active ingredients for coagulation, making it a marketable commodity (Folkard and Sutherland, 1996). According to Meitzner and Price (Amaranth to Zai Holes: Ideas for Growing Food Under Difficult Conditions, ECHO, 1996), Moringa oleifera has been compared to alum in its effectiveness at removing suspended solids from turbid water, but with a major advantage. Because it can be produced locally, "using moringa rather than alum would save foreign exchange and generate farm and employment income." The potential for moringa to create a new market for a community is there, and studies and projects are taking place examining this potential. 36
  • 37. How does it work? The processing of the seed is extremely simple. The mature pods can be dried naturally on the tree, or removed and then dried. The seed coats and wings are removed and the kernel is crushed into a powder, similar to making cornmeal. Next, the powder is added to a small amount of water and shaken for a few minutes, then strained into the larger container of water. It should be stirred vigorously for two minutes, then slowly for ten to fifteen minutes. It should be allowed to sit undisturbed for at least an hour so the solids attached to the powder particles can settle to the bottom. Because bacteria is attached to solids, this process removes particles and bacteria as well. It is recommended that boiling or further water treatment be done to finalize the purification process (Optima of Africa, Ltd.). Words of Inspiration from Lawrence Sewer of Jewel of the Isles of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands USA Lawrence Sewer, a native of St. Thomas, US Virgins Island, a retired US Army sergeant, offered encouragement to traditional healers. He said he is a descendant of freed slaves. His first visit to Ghana after his forefathers were taken away from the then Gold Coast over 300 years ago, was in March 2006, when William Danquah invited him to the last Global Summit on HIV/AIDS and Traditional Medicine. He said because he has always wanted to be the best herbalist, he studied hard to become a certified herbalist and also a member of the American Botanical Council. He said he believes all practitioners should train and aspire to become certified, because once certified, one becomes a trainer to teach others to become practitioners as well. He said he has been experimenting with many plants from which he has successfully developed his herbal products for past 18 years, starting with only $11.00. He said he believes that money must not be a set back in beginning a practice of herbal medicine contrary to what he hears other practitioners saying. The key to achieving success in this field is training and ingenuity. He said that we do not need billions of dollars to eradicate AIDS in Africa. He therefore admonished African traditional healers to get involved in training, apply technology, ingenuity and dedication to lift the practice to age. “A herbal medicine – NIPRISAN/NICOSAN, for the management of sickle cell anemia” by Professor Charles Wambebe, International Biomedical Research in Africa, Abuja, Nigeria Talking on the topic “A herbal medicine – NIPRISAN/NICOSAN, for the management of sickle cell anemia” Professor Charles Wambebe, stated that about 70% of sickle cell anaemia subjects reside in Africa, estimated at over 12 million. The prevalence of sickle cell anemia (SCA) is estimated at over 2% (i.e. about 2.8 million) while those with sickle cell traits is about 25% of the general population in Nigeria 1 . Furthermore, infant mortality is about 8% and survival rate of SCA babies in rural areas by five years of age is about 20%. These statistics indicate that SCA is the most neglected serious public health disorder with serious mortality and morbidity rates in Africa. The general objective was to undertake pre-clinical and clinical assessments of a herbal extract vis-à-vis management of sickle cell anemia using GLP and Good Clinical Practice (GCP) principles respectively. In Saharan Africa, there is no standard treatment for sickle cell anemia, only palliative management is generally available. In view of this situation, most sickle cell anemia patients consult traditional health practitioners who give them herbal medicines. Ethnomedical evidence indicated that Rev. P.O. Ogunyale used herbal recipe that apparently reduced the frequency of SCA–related crises in patients. The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development (NIPRD) developed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Rev. P.O. Ogunyale (Traditional Health Practitioner-THP). The MOU indicated the roles and responsibilities of the two parties and serves to grant recognition to the THP. Thus, the THP was a 1 Lesi, F.E.A. Sickle Cell Disorder: A Handbook for Patients, Parents, Counselors and Primary Health Care Practitioners, Edited by A.F. Fleming, Churchill Livingstone Publishers, London, pp1-23, 1999. 37
  • 38. functional member of the research and development team and included in all publications, patents and royalties 2 . In 1993, a clinical observational study was undertaken which indicated a promising result. Good laboratory practice (GLP) guarantees the generation of reliable observations that can be reproduced anywhere in the world under similar experimental conditions. The documentation of all processes and observations is a cardinal practice in GLP. The criteria for clinical evaluation of herbal medicines are exactly the same as those for assessing orthodox medicines (i.e.quality, safety and efficacy). The quality of the herbal medicine is determined by various factors which may influence the chemistry of the plant, pharmacology, toxicology and pharmaceutical formulation indicating the significance of establishing phytochemical and biological fingerprints. Subsequently, bio-activity guided extraction was carried out which enabled changing the original recipe while the standardized freeze dried extract was called NIPRISAN 3 . The first crucial investigation was safety evaluation. The short term toxicity study was undertaken and the data indicated that NIPRISAN was safe in laboratory animals 4 . Subsequently, the pharmacological profile of NIPRISAN in animals was conducted 5 . The phytochemical screening of the four plants used in the formulation of NIPRISAN was also undertaken. NIPRISAN is a standardized extract from four medicinal/food plants: Piper guineenses seeds, Pterocarpus osun stem, Eugenia caryophylum fruit and Sorghum bicolor leaves. In vitro data showed that NIPRISAN reversed sickled red blood cells (RBC) (Fig.2) and protected RBC from being sickled (Fig.1) when exposed to low oxygen tension. It was observed that NIPRISAN dose-dependently delayed polymer formation of haemoglobin S using UV technique from 6.6 to 38 minutes. The observed inhibition of sickling was time-related while cytochrome p50 was slightly reduced from 34.1 to 31.6 mmHg. Furthermore, NIPRISAN did not affect the Hill coefficient but induced 85% increased solubility of deoxy haemoglobin S. It is important that NIPRISAN did not cause lysis of the red blood cells, membrane associated denatured Hb or methaemoglobin formation. Professor Charles Wambebe of International Biomedical Research in Africa, Abuja, Nigeria The in vivo efficacy study was undertaken at Children Hospital of Philadelphia, USA. Histological examination of lungs of control Tg transgenic mice carrying human sickle haemoglobin showed entrapment of massive numbers of sickled cells in alveolar capillaries. NIPRISAN significantly cleared the lungs of sickled cells (Figure 3). Furthermore, figure 4 shows the profound effect of NIPRISAN (HEMOZIN) on the survival time of Tg mice under hypoxic conditions. In the absence of NIPRISAN all the Tg mice die within 15 minutes of exposure to the hypoxic conditions. However, NIPRISAN dose-dependently (0-500 mg/kg po) improves the survival time of the Tg mice under the same hypoxic conditions from 0 to 100% survival (P<0.0001) i . One possible cautious extrapolation of this significant effect of NIPRISAN is protection of SCA subjects from acute chest syndrome which is a major cause of sudden death among SCA subjects. 2 Wambebe, C. (1999). Collaborative Agreement between the National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research and Development, Abuja, Nigeria and Holders of Traditional Medical Knowledge Intellectual Property and Expectations of Traditional Knowledge Holders. WIPO Report on Fact Finding Missionon Intellectual Property and Traditional Knowledge. 3 Wambebe, Charles. “From Plants To Medicine for Management of Sickle Cell Disorder”. Guest Editorial: Innovation and Discovery, vol 18 (1), pp1-4, 2006. 4 Awodogan, A.O. et al . Acute and short term toxicity of NIPRISAN in rats: A biochemical study, Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development, vol1 (1), pp39-45, 1996 5 Gamaniel, K., Amos, A., Akah, P.A., Samuel, B.B., Kapu, S., Olusola, A., Abayomi, O., Okogun, J.I.and Wambebe, C. (1998). “Pharmacological Profile of NIPRD 94/002/1-0: A Novel Herbal Antisickling Agent,” Journal of Pharmaceutical Research and Development volume 3 (2), pp89-94. 38
  • 39. SCA subjects aged between 2 and 45 years were recruited for phase II A clinical trial. The data indicated that all the subjects benefited from NIPRISAN with no serious adverse effect. About 80% of the subjects did not experience any crisis during the period of the study (12 months) while the remaining subjects had less severe and less frequent SCA-related crises. The subjects experienced improved appetite with appreciable weight gain, significant reduction in hospital admission while attendance at school profoundly increased. Furthermore, there was no evidence of kidney/liver damage. Randomized placebo-controlled double-blind cross-over pivot clinical trial (Phase IIB) was undertaken using 100 SCA subjects ii . The summary of the clinical data is shown in Figure 5. Analysis of health diaries showed that severe pains were reported 7.9 and 21 times respectively for six months on NIPRISAN and placebo (p<0.01, Wilcoxon Signed Rank test). Furthermore, NIPRISAN reduced frequency of crisis from 0.195 to 0.045 per patient per month. Absenteeism reduced from 19.6 (placebo) to 7.1 (NIPRISAN) in six months. Frequency of hospital admission reduced from 0.22 (placebo) to 0.15 (NIPRISAN) per month. In addition, no changes in nutritional and metabolic analytes- total protein, albumin, total calcium, fasting total cholestrol, fasting triglyceride, fasting blood glucose and uric acid. Similarly, AST and ALT levels remained normal indicating no acute liver toxicity. Alkaline phosphatase and GGT were unchanged indicating that there was no cholestatic and chronic toxicity. Interestingly, creatinine and BUN levels remained same as placebo group suggesting that there was no kidney toxicity. The summary of this study as well as previous pilot clinical trials is that NIPRISAN is safe and efficacious for the management of SCA. Patenting of the process technology and potential therapeutic use of NIPRISAN was undertaken through funding from UNDP in USA 6 , England, India and 42 other countries including USA. In June 2002, the Federal of Ministry of Health granted an exclusive license for the manufacture and global marketing of NIPRISAN to XECHEM Inc, USA. Subsequently, XECHEM Inc established a factory at Abuja for the manufacture of NIPRISAN for the global market. Such an action has obvious positive impacts on the Nigerian economy, capacity building and foreign earnings and serves as a good example of a private-public partnership arrangement. NIPRISAN was granted orphan drug status by the United States Food and Drug Administration (2004) and the European Medicine Evaluation Agency (2005). On July 2006, the then President of Nigeria, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo commissioned XECHEM Manufacturing Plant at Abuja and launched NIPRISAN for use in the health sector. The inclusion of the THP in the research team and his inclusion in publications, patent and royalties encourages other THPs to release their recipes to NIPRD. The most enduring component of the programme is the strengthening of research capacity. Collaboration with national and foreign universities and research institutes have provided unique opportunities for on-the-job and postgraduate training for NIPRD staff. In addition, various skills have been acquired including equipment maintenance, standard operating procedures, clinical trial management, pilot scale up, process technology, pilot drug production, etc. The NIPRD learnt that the development of a realistic MOU with THP provided a basis for him to trust and collaborate with the researchers. The NIPRD acquired valuable experience on patenting and licensing to the private sector. The registration of NIPRISAN by the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control has added to its global therapeutic profile, with the potential for significantly improving the quality of life of SCA subjects world-wide. The licensing of NIPRISAN to an American company has demonstrated the first remarkable case of reverse transfer of medical technology (medicine) in Sub-Africa. The royalties associated with the licensing of NIPRISAN will stimulate research in indigenous medical knowledge and biodiversity in Africa. 39
  • 40. INTERACTIVE FORUM ON THE OVERVIEW, DYNAMICS AND IMPACT OF HIV/AIDS AND OTHER CHRONIC DISEASES ON THE DEVELOPING WORLD. Questions to Dr. Leopold Zekeng of UNAIDS – March 11, 2008 Dr. Emmanuel Brako of Winona State University: Is there a vaccine currently available to cure AIDS? Dr. Leopold Zekeng: We are waiting for big clinical trials, but there is a vaccine which is available which is free of charge and that is social behavior one. Experience from other countries shows that delaying sex, being faithful and abstaining works. But the question is how? We all know, especially in the part of the continent where we live that nine infections out of ten will occur when you have unprotected sex with somebody who is infected. So if you decide not to have sex, you may be protecting yourself. On a more serious note, when we look at what we are talking about vaccine from clinical trials, unfortunately, we are not going to have a vaccine within the next ten to fifteen years because a couple of reasons, the virus keep on changing and mutating. So the latest trial which was conducted by Merck was not a positive one. So while waiting for a vaccine, I am sure there are a couple of other things that one may need to do to reduce the spread of the infection. Fiona Eberts of AMONG: My question is about statistics and how the UN got it because recently the UN reduced the number of people living with AIDS quite substantially and others say that is even still too high so I want your comments on that and my other question is you talked so much about antiretroviral and never about giving someone breakfast when they take the antiretroviral because in many cases, they are taking them on empty stomach and this is something that has been ignored greatly. Dr. Leopold Zekeng: The statistics, yes I do work for the UN but I am sure we do not sit down there and play with the figures. The statistics basically, if you are familiar with the way we generate the statistics, I am sure you are that before we were using figures coming from antenatal clinics. We know very well that if you are doing a survey among pregnant women, it is a bias in terms of gender, age, coverage because most of the time we will be looking at antenatal clinics in urban areas. As we were generating more information on one we call population based survey, which is the demographic health survey, which will include not only the women but also the men, which will include not only the urban areas but also the rural areas, we are getting to something which is closer to the reality. So with the past risks and in the recent past, UNAIDS and WHO with the support of Micro International, an institution established by the United States which main function has to do with demographic and health survey for all kinds of things we have started introducing HIV survey. And we are now coming to figures which are basically fine tuned and using the information and the calibration from what we are having from the pregnant women and on some modules, we can come up with something which is closer to the reality. In Ghana, the pregnant women will give us a prevalence of 2.2% and when you fine tune it to what can be in the general population, it is 1.9%, so this is a reality. Fiona Eberts of AMONG: How is HIV test taken? Is it by Elisa, Western Blot or using the “Bangui definition” that you determine this because Elisa test has a lot of false positives especially in pregnant women so you are having sixty reasons for having false positives with Elisa test and many people do not do Western Blot? Dr. Leopold Zekeng: It may not be proper for the audience but I feel comfortable with the issue. Basically, we do what is called WHO strategic 2; you are entitled to use a first screening test which has to be sensitive then you will do a second test which is very specific so what we do in majority of countries when we are carrying out those surveys including Ghana, is we would be using the WHO Strategic 2, you will either use an Elisa and then another principle for the confirmation or you may use other principles. But we could have that discussion on one on one basis later because it goes with a good quality control programme where about 10 to 15 percent of both negative and positive would be sent to reference laboratory to ensure reality of what we are doing. I am confident with the figures we 40
  • 41. are having now. But keep in mind that as most of countries will be doing population based survey, which in term of sampling is much bigger. Pregnant women, you are talking sometimes about 10,000 to 15,000 when you are doing a population based survey you are talking about 20,000 to 30,000 which is more representative and it gives you a more accurate figure. Dr. Leopold Zekeng: On the question of nutrition, I agree with you that nutrition must go hand in hand with the use of antiretroviral drugs. What WHO, UNAIDS and World Food Programme are advocating most in the campaign against HIV/AIDS is nutritional support because taking the drug on an empty stomach gives side effects. Nutritional support is now a key component in majority of our programmes. Traditional Doctor Jayeola Akintoye of JAHTHEC, Nigeria – I believe condoms can help in minimizing the spread of HIV/AIDS. But how strong and safe is the use of condom in preventing HIV/AIDS especially as regards a man who is capable of ejecting more semen during intercourse with a woman who has not engaged in sex after six months? Dr. Leopold Zekeng: The condom is solid. Go back home you will be surprised to find out that all this water can enter a single condom. There are quality control tests which are performed on the condoms to ensure that the condoms we are having are of good quality. But unfortunately in some of our countries, we may not be in the position of controlling what we are getting into the country; we may not be in the position of ensuring that we store condoms in a good environment may be they are stored on the sun, etc then it can leak. So a condom which has been stored in the proper environment is solid enough to contain the semen, you are talking about 2 milligrams even if you have stayed six months without having sex. I do agree with you that if the condom is not properly used and if your partner is not prepared enough, there could be some concerns on the condom so our message is the consistent and proper use of the condoms. Dr. Leopold Zekeng: Giving drugs to prevent infections, there are animal modules and there is a drug which is called Tenofovil and experience has shown that if those monkeys are given a certain amount of this drug, there is likelihood that it will prevent the acquisition of new infections. This is what is happening in monkeys. We have not been able to try the drug on humans and a couple of trials in Ghana, Nigeria and Cambodia were stopped because of ethical concerns. So it is good if you are saying that taking a drug for a trial what happens if I am negative and I become HIV positive? So standard of care, if it is not properly done, I agree that ethical committee will stop the trial. So there are ideas here and there that what is working on animals could potentially work in human beings. But while waiting for vaccine, abstain, be faithful and use condom if you do not want to be infected. William L. Amoah of Walker Health Foundation: The AID epidemic has affected Africans greatly, especially women. What is being done by UNAIDS to protect women who are vulnerable to the AIDS epidemic in Africa? Dr. Leopold Zekeng: On the issue of feminization of the epidemic, 63% of people infected with HIV/AIDS in Ghana are women. We know that women are vulnerable to the infection because of biological, social and economic reasons. So we need to empower women by sending the young girls to school, we need to stop domestic violence, she needs to be economically empowered, we know that for various reasons she is not in a position to negotiate properly when it comes to sex, so she needs female control methods, we are talking about female condoms. There is a lot of research going on microbicide – a product compound which she may insert in the vagina prior to having sex to protect her but again unfortunately as we speak, we do not have microbicide which has gone through efficacy trial which can prevent infection. So on the whole issue of feminization of the AIDS epidemic we may be successful in finding acceptable solutions by applying education, economic, social and political strategies to ensure the best options for women. Peter Avinu of Peter Herbal Centre – Most of the AIDS patients receiving the antiretroviral drugs are forced to stop taking the drugs because of the lack of money to obtain nutrition since the effect of the 41
  • 42. drug demands adequate food intake. In order to arrest the spread of the disease in Ghana, why can’t UNAIDS and the Ghana AIDS Commission provide free treatment together with food to these patients and be required to pay the GH5.00 now being charged only after they recover? Dr. Leopold Zekeng: On antiretroviral drug free programme, I say that these drugs are free. The GH5.00 being paid in Ghana goes only to cover consultation fee. Ghana Government is working to establish an HIV/AIDS funds so that drugs can be given free of charge. But being free of charge does not mean that everyone will go there because stigma and discrimination is preventing people from going for testing and treatment. So we need to address the issue of stigma and discrimination. On the question of nutritional support, again this is an issue we need to address. It is expected that moneys that various governments are receiving from Global Funds, PEPFAR, Clinton Foundation and Bill Gate Foundation will be utilized to provide nutritional support for HIV infected persons who are receiving antiretroviral drugs at no user’s fee. Valentine Igoniwari of CAVC, Nigeria: We are collecting statistics in our area in Nigeria which show that traditional birth attendants contribute to mother to child transmission of the AIDS virus. Has UNAIDS an ongoing program to educate traditional birth attendants to arrest mother to child transmissions of the virus? Dr. Leopold Zekeng: On the question of Traditional Birth Attendants, it is not the UNAIDS but rather WHO and UNFPA which are training traditional birth attendants to ensure that they are involved in the prevention process but this implies that we need to find out that they really understand what the whole purpose is about. We need to train the community about breastfeeding because in certain environment, not breastfeeding is stigmatizing and so the whole community needs to be involved. Questions to Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoah, Ghana AIDS Commission Togbega Dabra VI of Prometra Ghana: I was not here when Professor Sakyi Amoa made his presentation but I want to inform you that Ghana AIDS Commission supports Prometra Ghana to train traditional healers in Ghana as trainers. Just last month, we completed the training of 50,000 traditional healers selected from nine regions of Ghana. Yesterday, when I made my presentation, I mentioned that we train traditional healers in their local languages so they can understand the subject matter better and these include traditional birth attendants, circumcisers, traditional psychiatrics and general traditional medicine practitioners. Traditional birth attendants are trained about prevention of mother to child transmission as referred to by Dr. Leopold Zekeng in his answer to one of the questions posed to him. I just want to make it clear that truly they need this training because 80% of our population rely on their services especially in the villages where there are no modern medical facilities. This is why Ghana AIDS Commission supports the training of traditional medicine practitioners in Ghana. What we really need is more support in order for us to continue the training programme so that those who have already been trained can train more healers in their communities. Lakassa Essossiminam of Togo Therapeutic Medicine Practitioners Association: You talked about healers who claim to have cure for AIDS and that is creating many problems. What I want to know is what are you doing to prevent healers from making false claims about AIDS? My second question is when you selected some healers for a meeting at Koforidua to evaluate their practices about HIV/AIDS did you asked them to bring prepared drugs they are already using or the plants from which they made their drugs? My third question concerns your statement that healers do not trust institutions and university professors. What I want to know is whether you think it must be the healer who must first approach the researcher about studying the healer’s drug formula or is it the researcher? Who really made the research, is it the healer or the researcher? Who wants his curriculum to be better? 42
  • 43. My fourth question is how do you think a healer who does not know anything about research but practices medicine in the village, will find it necessary to make research on his drug? So my question again is who must make the first approach since you say healers do not have faith and trust in the institutions and researchers? Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa: On the question of trust and who wants to improve his or her curriculum? I am sure both the traditional healer and the researcher want to improve their curricula because both of them want to be known. A good example of what we are talking about is what has been demonstrated by Professor Charles Wambebe. He went to a pastor who had a local herb and said can we do a study on it? And the pastor realized the importance of the study agreed and there was a mutual confidence and therefore collaboration started and this is the result. And that is all that we are asking for from you the traditional healers. We know that some of the researchers have not been sincere to you in the past; some institutes have received herbal preparations and have not come out with their findings and this is what has led to some of the herbal practitioners fearing to give their preparations to the research institutes. Whether they give the plant or herb is another question. I know the Ministry of Health’s protocol requires that the herbalist should declare the plant itself but they are not prepared. They would want to hide the plant itself and just give you anything and say that you can work with it. So if we cannot trust each other, there is no way that we can move forward. So I think there is the need for that mutual trust between the researcher and the herbalist if we can move forward. Without that trust, there is nothing we can do. And I think we have a very good case study on what the trust between traditional practitioners and researchers can do. About Togbega Dabra VI’s comments, I think I mentioned in my presentation before he came that Ghana AIDS Commission supports Prometra to educate traditional herbalists and I think that his intervention clearly tells you about what we want to do. We support the herbalists, but as I said initially, we need to make sure that they are properly educated on all aspects of the HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment so they can now see their way clearly with regard to what they can do with their preparations. Lakassa Essossiminam of Togo Therapeutic Medicine Practitioners Association: My last question is how can the Ghana AIDS Commission and the WHO accept to share their experiences with other countries about HIV/AIDS treatment and prevention? Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa: On sharing of information, Ghana AIDS Commission and the Ministry of Health would always be happy and ready to share Ghana’s experiences about the prevention of HIV/AIDS with other countries through documentation available. Godfred Boateng, Secretary General of GHAFTRAM: I heard Professor Charles Wambebe saying that his institute got a herbal formula from the late Rev. Ogunwale from which his institution and an American company have developed, patented and marketing a drug against sickle cell anaemia. What I did not hear is what his institution is going to pay to the deceased healer’s family from royalties they have or are going to receive from the American company? Sebastian: I once heard that you are advocating for the legalization of prostitution in Ghana. I want to know how far you think legalization of prostitution will go to prevent or eradicate HIV/AIDS? Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa: On the question of legalizing prostitution, we have said it several times but it looks like the press is interested in just one word. What the Commission talks about is decriminalizing prostitution as a way of increasing prevention and control because whether we like it or not, the prostitutes are patronized and if they do not have patrons, they will not be in the market. The question is you are promoting condom use and you have the police who are arresting women and using condoms in their purses as evidence of prostitution. Why are they not arresting men who carry condoms in their pockets or brief-cases? So what we are saying is that the laws that make prostitutes 43
  • 44. look like criminals should be done way with. Decriminalizing prostitution is different from legalizing it. When you talk about legalization then you say that it is good you want it. We are not talking about values, but as a program manager, we see that we just have to make sure that we decriminalize prostitution so we can go ahead with our prevention and control strategies. George Zokli of Moffen Consult: I want to know whether you have included nutrition in the Ghana AIDS Commission programmes? Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa: On nutrition, I have said in my presentation that the Ghana AIDS Commission is funding Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research to do a study on Alfalfa Leaf Nutrient cake supplementation as a nutritional component. We are very much concerned about nutrition because it plays a major role in the treatment of people living with HIV/AIDS particularly when they are on antiretroviral treatment; without nutrition, one cannot achieve much. We give a lot of support to associations of people living with AIDS so yes, nutrition plays a major role. Dr. Ossy Kasilo of WHO Africa Regional Office: On the subject of sharing of information raised by Mr. Lakassa Essossiminam, I want to add to what Professor Sakyi Amoa has said that Ghana has been sharing its experiences in various forums since 2002. We have been working with the Directorate of Traditional Medicine of Ghana when we developed guidelines for development of strategic plan, we asked Ghana to make the first draft because of their experience. Secondly, we have been working with Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research. We are also working with the Centre for Scientific Research Into Plant Medicine, especially on reviving its WHO Collaborating Centre Status. There is also Ms. Edith Andrews, who is responsible for Essential Medicine and Traditional Medicine in the WHO Ghana office and serves as the link between WHO and the various institutions in the country with which we work closely. The WHO Office in general works with the UNAIDS and Ghana AIDS Commission. The WHO African Regional Office is responsible for 46 countries in the region. So when we have meetings such as this, experts from Ghana come to contribute to them. Professor Charles Wambebe: Even though this is not my session, there was one question concerning the late Rev. P.O. Ogunyale who gave us the original recipe for the herbal medicine NIPRISAN for sickle cell anaemia. He is late now. He died about 4 years ago. He was already 75 years when we met in 1993, and he knew that he will pass on anytime and so he set up a foundation called Rev. Ogunyale Foundation and told me that any benefits that might come when this product would be commercialized should be put into that foundation. The foundation has all the guidelines as to how the money would be used and they have a board of trustees in charge. So now that the company has started paying the institute the royalties of 7.5% of total sale, definitely the institute (I am no longer in the institute, I left there in 2001 but then the new administration has all the records and I have been in touch with them) they would definitely be paying the foundation whatever is due to Rev. Ogunyale. Even last week I was in Botswana with one of the directors of the institute and we discussed that matter. Professor Charles Wambebe’s presentation summary: Basically what I shared with you this morning is the work we did on developing a new herbal medicine for the management of sickle cell anemia. The product is based upon indigenous medical knowledge we obtained from the late Ogunyale and then we applied modern science and technology to develop a product. We were able to do the standard assessment in the lab in terms of the pre-clinical data and then we worked closely with our collaborators in the USA for part of the pre-clinical studies, especially the in vivo - animal studies and then we were able to do the gold standard clinical trial which is randomized placebo control and cross- over using sickle cell patients in Nigeria and the results all indicate that this product is safe and effective in the management of sickle cell anemia. The product has been registered or listed by the Nigerian Drug Regulatory Agency (NAFDA) and has been licensed to an American company which is now producing it in Abuja on commercial scale and it has been patented as well. The good news too is that the Institute has earned 7.5% of royalties from sales of the product which means the Institute now has sufficient money to carry on other research work in developing more products on malaria, HIV/AIDS, etc. 44
  • 45. Dr. Kofi Kondwani of Morehouse School of Medicine: I appreciate your presentation and the time and funds that it took to move this herb from an idea to a product. Several questions: Why is the product being produced by an American company but is not available in America? I am wondering what are the dynamics here? Do you have to go through another series of clinical trials in the US in order to have the herb available there? And then you talked about 7.5% royalties. Does that earning go back to the Institution or to the healer or his foundation? I want to know what kind of money is the drug company actually making from this product and what percentage is paid in terms of dollars as royalties? And I want any advice that you have because we are in the early stages of developing herbal microbicide which also came from an organization of traditional healers as opposed to an individual since they disburse the funds and they own the patent in the way as they see fit and so they might not accept 7.5% as royalty? Professor Charles Wambebe: For the issue of the availability or the use of the product in US, by FDA requirements there has to be another clinical trials done in the US and what I did with the company was to develop a protocol with another doctor based in New York in charge of the largest sickle cell center in New York. So we developed the protocol and we were to use Howard University that has a very active sickle cell clinic with one of the pediatricians there and also the one in New York plus two other universities in Nigeria. But unfortunately, the president with whom we have arranged all these had left the company now and somebody else has taken over but has not come back to me yet as to whether we should move this forward. But until that is done individual parents contact the company and they get the product. So the product is not on the market officially in US. The only thing we have is the orphan drug status and so until the clinical trial is done in the US and Nigeria, the FDA will not register it to make available to the public. Professor Charles Wambebe: Regarding the issue of royalties, that has not been fully settled because two weeks ago I was in Botswana with the Director of the Institute and I discussed the matter with him and he told me about what they have proposed. But he said the board of the institute has been dissolved so hopefully a new board will come on soon to look into the matter properly. What will happen is that the institute will have some percentage of the royalties and the traditional healer will have some of it. Although the healer is dead, whatever is due him will be paid to his foundation according to his will. Professor Charles Wambebe: Regarding turn over – The president of the company told me that when they are in full operation, they were expecting something like 1billion dollars a year. Their capacity is not adequate to meet demand. They produced about 10 million capsules after the President inaugurated the company but they could not release the product to the market because if they did that they would have problems in sustaining production. So they borrowed money from the New York Stock Exchange late in 2006 to upgrade their production capacity. 45
  • 46. DAY THREE – WEDNESDAY, MARCH 12, MARCH, 2008 THIRD PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION Identification of traditional medicines and practices of established value used in the prevention and management of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, sickle cell, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and mental disorders for further evaluation of safety, efficacy and quality standards. Bridging the gap between traditional and conventional methods of preventing, treating cancer, sickle cell, anaemia, diabetes, hypertension and mental disorders. “HIV AND AIDS – Traditional Medicine & Indigenous Knowledge for Prevention, Care and Cure” by Traditional Doctor Jaiyeola Akintoye of J. Akintoye Herbal Therapeutics Centre, Nigeria Talking on the subject “HIV AND AIDS – Traditional Medicine & Indigenous Knowledge for Prevention, Care and Cure” Traditional Doctor Jaiyeola Akintoye of Nigeria started by saying that the scourge HIV/AIDS may seem new which it is not, though it has in recent times come to assume a frightening dimension. Traditional Doctor Jaiyeola Akintoye of J. Akintoye Herbal Therapeutics Centre, Nigeria making a point. He said the sad aspect of the problem is the stigmatization of those afflicted by this complications which ought not to be, the African herbal medical practice, which dated back into centuries have means of handling dreaded disease. The means through which this HIV/AIDS can be contracted is no longer the song but what can be done to prevent, care and cure this problem. It should also be borne in mind that in the war to bring good health to the people there are lots of diseases to combat and put to bay. ISSUES As aforesaid the issue is the prevention care and cure of the complications. It need be appreciated that the symptoms associated with HIV/AIDS can sometimes be linked to other ailments for example acute heat in the body can be a sign of malaria fever as well as a symptom of HIV/AIDS or other diseases, so also is rashes all over the body, giddiness, incessant headaches or the coming out of puss from the anus. Swollen of the body, hands and legs which are symptoms of HIV/AIDS can also be ascribed to other diseases. Too much defecation and vomiting coupled with acute coughing resulting in loss of body weight emaciation) and acute weakness in the patient spells the peak in the problem which then call for intervention. EXPERIENCE IN PATIENT HANDLING Experience from practice in our centre JAHTHEC – J. Akintoye Herbal therapeutics Centre, Akure, Nigeria has shown that herbal preparation possesses very high potent power to prevent, care and cure HIV/AIDS. Here our centre liaises with the medical laboratories, after due consultation with the patient who is asked about his/her medical history, to conduct test on the patient and file on the result on such 46
  • 47. points as the “viral load” and CD4 count on the first test after which herbal formulae to treat the case is prepared for dispensation. The herbs we use are easily found in the vegetation region of the South West of Nigeria. RESULT IN PATIENTS HANDLING Living attestation to the effectiveness of the use of herbal therapeutics are Mr. UC a 37 year old auto mechanic engineer who lives in Lagos, Nigeria. Mrs T.O, A 47 year old business woman who is also based in Lagos, Nigeria. Beside others who have obtained reprieve from the HIV/AIDS problem through the work of JAHTHEC., Akure Nigeria. To further enhance the “potency claim” of herbal therapeutics, JAHTHEC under the directorship of J. Akintoye (AMDr.) will be ready to subject its herbal therapeutics for scientific analysis as long as such arrangement is not froth with political motive. The war against diseases now call for a joint effort from all fronts – European medicine, African Traditional Medicine, Natural/Botanical medicine and other practitioners of health enhancing methods as the job of providing good health to the people surpasses the single effort of a class. European/ Western medicine need to close rank with the African traditional medicine to be able to provide what has hither-to been looked on elusive good and affordable health method and medicine for all. In our past effort, JAHTHEC has endeavoured and maintained contact with Abbort Laboratories, the Ministry of Health of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Ministry of Health Ondo and Lagos State for Nigeria, KREV Medical Hospital, Lagos, Kids & Teens Resource Centre Akure (NGO), HTSTD’s., Akure to mention a few in the work to make the world a better place to live in. The main point now is giving the world a reprieve from the epidemic and scourge of HIV/AIDS, the huge beneficiaries of the AIDS funds should try to consider helping the efforts genuinely geared towards bringing the scourge down and not frustrating them. It should also be realized that the herbal medicine prevention, care and cure of HIV/AIDS should not be seen as endorsing the license to become promiscuous. Government should now seriously consider a collaborative effort between their Ministries of Health and the Herbal therapeutics practitioners to lessen the burden of managing diseases effectively. "Searching for Anti-HIV agents among traditional medicines" by Professor Massao Hattori, Institute of Natural Medicine, University of Toyoma, Japan. Professor Massao Hattori serving as chairman for this session, presented on the topic "Searching for Anti-HIV agents among traditional medicines". For the purpose of searching anti-HIV agents among various traditional medicines, we have screened medicinal plants for their activities with a panel of in vitro bioassays [designed to monitor inhibition of HIV-1-induced cytopathic effect (CPE), and HIV essential enzymes; reverse transcriptase (RT), protease (PR) and integrase (IN)]. Examples highlighted in this paper include lead compounds isolated and identified through bioassay-guided fractionation of these plants. Compounds are classified according to their mode of action, for example: 1) CPE inhibitors (tigliane-type diterpenes), 2) RT inhibitors (caffeic acid derivatives and polyphenols), 3) PR-inhibitors (derivatives of lanostane, oleanane, urasane and lupane triterpenes), and 4) IN inhibitors (flavonoid and caffeic acid derivatives). Structural modification of the active compounds was carried out for developing effective and less toxic anti-HIV agents. 47
  • 48. Professor Masao Hattori of Institute of Natural Medicine, Toyoma University, Japan, answering questions during roundtable session 1. Inhibition of HIV-1-induced CPE The effects of plant extracts were evaluated as concentrations that prevent HIV-induced CPE, using MT-4 cell, a human T4-positive cell line carrying HTLV-1. When MT4-cells are infected with HIV–1, the virus rapidly proliferates and the MT-4 cells are destroyed within 5 to 6 days. From this test, the dose that reduces the viability of uninfected cells by 50% (CC50) and that required to inhibit HIV-1 replication by 50% (IC50) are obtained and the ratio of these values (CC50/IC50) is given as the selectivity index (SI) in order to assess whether the observed anti-HIV-1 activity is a specific or a general toxic effect. When extracts of several medicinal plants used in Egypt were screened, the MeOH extract of seeds of Croton tiglium L. (Euphorbaceae) showed especially strong anti-HIV-1 activity (IC50 of 0.025 g/ml) with a high selectivity index (SI value of 34.4). Moreover, this extract suppressed giant cell formation in co-cultures of HIV-infected and –uninfected MOLT-4 cells, suggesting that this extract can inhibit virus adsorption or fusion, as giant cell formation depends on the interaction of HIV envelop protein with virus receptors on the cell surface. Next, we attempted to isolate anti-HIV substances through a bioactivity-guided fractionation, which led to isolation of 8 compounds (1-8) (Chart 1) (El-Mekkawy et al., 1999 and 2000) from the methanol extract of the seeds of C. tiglium. These compounds were phorbol diesters and their structures were determined by chemical degradation and spectroscopic methods. The acyl groups and the sites of acylation were determined by GC/MS after selective hydrolysis. These compounds were tested for their ability to inhibit the HIV-1-induced CPE effect on MT-4 cells, together with activation of proteinkinase C, which is associated with tumor promotion. Table 1 shows the IC100 values of isolated compounds. 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (8) and 12-O-acetylphorbol 13- decanoate (6) had complete inhibition of HIV-1-induced CPE at concentrations (IC100) of 0.48 and 7.6 ng/ml, with minimum cytotoxic concentrations (CC0) of 31.3 and 62.5 g/ml, respectively. On the other hand, 8 showed the strongest activation of PKC at 10 ng/ml. Of most interest was the fact that 6 showed specific anti-HIV activity without activating PKC (no activation was seen at 10-100 ng/ml). R1 R2 R3 OR1 1 H Ac C18H31O 18 OR2 12 17 2 H Tig C18H31O 11 13 H 3 Ac Tig H 19 9 14 15 16 1 10 8 4 C10H19O 2-Me butyryl H 2 H 3 4 OH H 5 Tig 2-Me butyryl H 7 O 5 6 6 Ac C10H19O H HO C12H23O H 7 2-Me butyryl CH2OR3 8 C14H27O Ac H 20 Chart 1 Next, similar phorbol derivatives having acyl residues with different chain lengths (C6:0, C9:0, C12:0 and C14:0) were synthesized, and their activities were investigated. It was obvious that a chain length 48
  • 49. of C14 at C-12 (with C2 at C-13) is an essential requirement for a maximal anti-CPE activity as well as for PKC activation (as in 8). However, acyl groups with a chain length of C10 at C-12 (with C5 at C-13, as in 4), at C-13 (with acetate at C-12, as in 6) were found essential for selective anti-HIV. Since 6 was identified as a selective anti-HIV agent that showed very low cytotoxicity, some of phorbol esters should serve as useful lead structures in the development of new classes of anti-HIV agents. Table 1. Inhibition of HIV-1-induced CPE* and Activation of PKC# by 1-8 % Activation of PKC Compound Anti-HIV-1 (μg/ml) at 10 ng/ml IC100 CC0 13-O-Acetylphorbol 20-linoleate (1) 15.60 0 62.5 13-O-Tigloylphorbol 20-linoleate (2) 7.81 14 62.5 12-O-Acetylphorbol 13-tigliate (3) 125 500 16 12-O-Decanoylphorbol 13-(2-methylbutyrate) (4) 7.81 0 31.3 12-O-Tigloylphorbol 13-(2-methylbutyrate) (5) 31.30 10 62.5 12-O-Acetylphorbol 13-decanoate (6)** 0.0076 0 62.5 12-O-(2-Methylbutyroyl)phorbol 13-dodecanoate 15.60 16 (7) 62.5 12-O-Tetradecanoylphorbol 13-acetate (8) 100 0.00048 31.3 DS 8000 3.90 >1000 * Measured by the method of Harada et al. (1985) using HLTV-I-carrying cell line MT-4. IC100: the minimum concn. for complete inhibition of HIV-1-induced CPE in MT-4 cells, determined by microscope observation; CC0: the minimum concn. for appearance of MT-4 cell toxicity, determined by microscopic observation. DS, dextran sulfate. # 32 32 Assayed by measuring the incorporation of P radioactivity from [γ- P]ATP into peptide, Arg-Lys-Arg-Thr-Leu-Arg-Arg-Leu-OH, using a Biotrak PKC enzyme assay system code RPN 77 kit except that the TPA in the kit was replaced by 1-8 (10 ng/ml) in DMSO, # final concentration of 0.02%. **Activation of PKC was not observed at 100 ng/ml. Relative to that shown by TPA. 2. Inhibition of HIV-1 Reverse Transcriptase (RT) In the early stages of the HIV-1 life cycle, RT is required for conversion of single- stranded genomic RNA to double-stranded proviral DNA. The enzyme possesses not only RT (RNA-dependent DNA polymerase, RDDP) but also DNA-dependent DNA polymerase (DDDP) and ribonuclease H (RNase H) activities. The single-stranded RNA genome is reverse-transcribed by RDDP activity into the minus DNA strand to form RNA-DNA hybrid. Then, the RNase H domain catalyses hydrolysis of the RNA component of this hybrid, leaving small RNA primers for a subsequent synthesis of complementary plus DNA strand by DDDP activity. Potential lead inhibitions of each catalytic function of RT were isolated and their modes of action were determined. In an in vitro assay system designed to monitor the incorporation of [3H]-dTTP into a polymer fraction by HIV-1 RT in the presence of (rA)n-(dT)12-18 as a template primer, a MeOH extract of the fruit of Phyllanthus emblica L. (Euphorbaceae) (El-Mekkawy et al., 1995), and a water extract of the leaves of Cordia spinescens L. (Boraginaceae) (Lim et al., 1997) showed significant inhibitory effects with IC50 values of 2-49 g/ml. Through a bioactivity-guided fractionation of the MeOH extract of P. embilica, the inhibitory effects were found in both the ethanol-soluble and –insoluble fractions of the methanol extract. Repeated chromatography of the active fraction let to the isolation of 6 compounds. 49
  • 50. Their structures were determined by spectroscopic and chemical means (El-Mekkawy et al., 1995). Of these compounds, putranjivain A was found to have the most potent inhibitory activity against HIV-1 RT with an IC50 value of 3.9 M. The Lineweaver-Burk plots for this compound showed that the inhibitory mode of action was non-competitive with respect to the substrate, but competitive with respect to the template-primer, suggesting that its action may be due to conformational changes of the enzyme, rather than of binding to the substrate-binding site. The respective inhibitory constants (Ki) were 0.89 M for the substrate and 0.25 M for the template-primer. After fractionation of the aqueous extract of the leaves of C. spinescens collected in Panama, using an ion exchange resin column of IRA-400, the HIV-RT inhibitory activity was enriched in the neutral fraction (93.0%) followed by the basic fraction (69%), while the acidic fraction showed a very weak inhibitory activity (15%). Further chromatography of the neutral fraction over Sephadex LH-20 yielded magnesium lithospermate, calcium rosmarinate, and magnesium rosmarinate as potent inhibitory substances (Lim et al., 1997). Since these compounds are derivatives of caffeic acid, related compounds were synthesized and their structural activity relationship was investigated. Caffeic acid was found inactive (IC50 value > 1000 M), and lithospermic acid, a trimer of caffeic acid, was a weak inhibitor of HIV-RT (IC50 value of 34 M), while its magnesium salt was the most potent RT inhibitor (IC50 value of 0.8 M). Next in potency were the calcium and magnesium salts of the caffeic acid dimers, (IC50 values of 5.8 and 3.1 M, respectively), while the magnesium salt of the tetramer, lithospermate B, was a very weak inhibitor (IC50 value of 68 M). The inhibitory mode of action was kinetically analyzed and the mode of RT inhibition by magnesium lithospermate, calcium and magnesium rosmarenate was found non- competitive with respect to dTTP. The Ki values were 0.8, 5 and 3 M, respectively. Moreover, on the study of their specificity for inhibition of viral RT, a test was conducted using DNA polymerase I, a different DNA polymerase. These compounds inhibited DNA polymerase I in lesser extent that RT, showing their specificity to inhibit RNA-dependent-DNA polymerase or RT than for DNA-dependent DNA polymerase. Potent inhibition of RT was also demonstrated by 1,2,6-trigalloylglucose and 1,2,3,6-tetragalloylglucose (IC50 values of 0.067 and 0.040 M, respectively) isolated from the stem-bark of Juglans mandshurica (Min et al., 2000). On the other hand, 4 ,5,8-trihydroxy- -tetralone5-O- -D-[6′-O-(3″,4″,5″- trihydroxybenzoyl)] glucose showed inhibitory activity with an IC50 value of 5.8 M. 3. Inhibition of HIV-1 Protease (PR) During the replication of HIV, the viral polyprotein must be cleaved by viral protease (PR) to generate essential viral enzymes, such as RT, IN and PR itself, as well as the viral structural proteins. HIV-1 PR is an aspartic protease composed of two identical monomers, which are assembled by non-covalent interactions to form the composite active site. This structural peculiarity has provided the possibility of a special inhibitory mechanism, i.e. the dimerization inhibition mechanism. A dimerization inhibitor of HIV-1 PR could dissociate the enzyme into the inactive monomer form and thus inhibit the enzyme’s activity. In a preliminary screening of Chinese and Mongolian herbal drugs for inhibitory activity against HIV-1 PR, the extracts of the stems of Cynomorium songaricum RUPR. were found to be active. C. songaricum is a parasitic plant mainly growing in the Inner Mongolia region of China, where the stems are reputed to have medicinal use as a tonic (New Medical College of Jangsu, 1977). From CH2Cl2 and MeOH extracts of the stems of C. songaricum, ursolic acid and its hydrogen malonate were isolated as inhibitors of HIV-1 PR (IC50 values of 8 and 6 M, respectively) (Ma et al., 1999). This finding encouraged us to prepare a series of dicarboxylic acid hemiesters of ursolic acid and related triterpenes. In ursolic acid, oleanolic acid and betulinic acid introduction of carboxyl groups linked at C-3 by an ester bond tended to increase the inhibitory activity in the order of oxalyl, malonyl, succinyl and gluteryl hemiesters [the most potent inhibition was observed for the glutaryl hemiesters, IC50 of 4 M, about half the values of the original triterpenes] (Table 2). Oleanolic acid, which is abundant in nature, was used as an example to investigate the effects of triterpene derivatives. The lengths of the acidic 50
  • 51. chains were optimized to 6 and 8 carbons with an IC50 value of 3.0 μM). Further extension of the acyl chain by two additional methylene units led to slight decrease in the inhibitory potency. Changing a 3- hydroxyl of to an oxo or a hydroxyimino group retained their inhibitory activity against HIV-1 PR (Ma et al., 2000). Replacing a 3-hydroxyl of 28-methyl oleanolate to an oxo or amino group did not ameliorate the poor activity. However, 3-hydroxyimino-olean-12-en-28-oic acid methyl ester exhibited two-fold increased activity as compared to methyl oleanolate. These findings indicated that introducing an additional acidic chain to the oleanane skeleton might be potential to the HIV-1 PR inhibitory activity of these classes of compounds. Acylation of sophoradiol (an aglycone of kaikasaponin III) (Ma et al., 1998), which has two hydroxy groups at C-3 and C-22 with a distance of 12.3 Å between the two groups, with adipoyl chloride yielded 3, 22-di-O-adipoylsophoradiol, which showed more than 8-fold activity than the parent triterpene. A similar finding was obtained when a second carboxyl group was introduced at C-28 of oleanolic acid (IC50 value of 1.7 μM, though a derivative with only one acidic chain linked at C-28 also showed the same activity against HIV-1 protease, and 4 times more than the inhibitory activity of oleanolic acid. The dissociation of HIV-1 PR by these compounds was monitored directly by size exclusion chromatography. Two main proteins at retention times of 29.4 and 39.0 min were assigned to HIV-1 PR dimer and monomer, respectively, by interpolation of a standard protein curve. After incubation with the triterpenes mentioned above, the peak was dominant and that of the dimer disappeared completely. On the other hand, after treatment with an active site inhibitor, acetyl pepstatin, the dimer was dominant and the monomer disappeared. This finding indicated that the triterpene compound could dissociate the dimeric polypeptides of HIV-1 PR into a monomeric one, i.e. inhibited the activity of HIV-1 PR through the mechanism of dimerization inhibition. These compounds showed no inhibitory effects on other aspartic protease, pepsin, suggesting that it may not be interacting with the enzyme active sites. The scaffold of triterpene compounds matches in its volume that of the backbone of a cyclic hexapeptide, and a computer docking study has revealed that some triterpenes could fit well into the hydrophobic interface site of the relaxed HIV-1 PR monomers. Therefore, it is not surprising that structural modification of triterpene compounds could lead to HIV-1 PR inhibitors with the same inhibitory mechanism and similar inhibitory potency as some peptide compounds. Because the triterpene skeleton is more rigid and stable than peptide, it is expected that triterpene derivatives might be more specific to HIV-1 PR and have better pharmacokinetic properties. R2 R2 R2 RO RO RO Ursene-type Oleanene-type Lupane-type Table 2. Inhibitory effects of triterpenes on HIV-1 Protease enzyme R1 R2 Ursene-type IC50 Oleanene-type IC50 Lupane-type IC50 Cmpd (μM) Cmpd (μM) Cmpd (μM) H CH3 α-amyrin 80 β-amyrin >100 H COOH urolic acid 8 oleanolic acod 8 betulinic acid 9 H COOCH3 14 20 >25 COCH3 COOH 13 9 COCOOH COOH 7 20 7 COCH2COOH COOH 6 8 6 CO(CH2)2COOH COOH 6 4 6 CO(CH2)3COOH COOH 4 4 4 CO(CH2)2COOCH3 COOCH3 40 CO(CH2)3COOCH3 COOCH3 >50 >50 51
  • 52. 4. Inhibition of HIV-1 Integrase (IN) Viral integrase (IN) is an enzyme that integrates the viral transcribed DNA into host-cell DNA. During viral infection, IN catalyzes the excision of the last two nucleotides from the linear viral DNA, leaving the terminal dinucleotide CA-3′-OH at the recessed 3′-end (3′-processing). After transport to the nucleus as a nucleoprotein complex, IN catalyzes a DNA strand transfer reaction involving the nucleophilic attack at the ends on the host DNA, which is called strand transfer or joining. Clinically useful antiviral drugs targeting this enzyme still have not yet been developed. Accordingly, our strategy was directed towards natural resources in the hope that we can find HIV-1 IN inhibitory substance. Recently, an assay for HIV-1 IN activity using DNA-coated plates has been described. It is a non-radioisotopic method, which screens for both 3′-processing and 3′-strand transfer. This method was used for screening 50 medicinal plants used in Thailand for their activity against HIV-1 IN, and suramin was used as a positive control, which inhibits HIV-1 IN in vitro with an IC50 value of 2.4 M. Among them, Coleus parvifolius (water and EtOH extracts) and Thevetia peruviana Schum. (EtOH extract) showed potent anti-HIV-1 IN activity (IC50 values of 2.9, 9.2 and 12 g/ml, respectively). From the water extract of C. parvifolius, rosmarinic acid, luteolin and luteolin 7-O-methyl ether were isolated as potent inhibitors of HIV-IN (IC50 values of 5.0, 11.0 and 11.0 M, respectively) (Tewtrakul et al., 2003). Rosmarinic acid methyl ester was obtained from an EtOAc-soluble fraction of the EtOH extract of C. parvifolius and was found to be the most potent constituent isolated from this plant (IC50 = 3.1 M). Rosmarinic acid derivatives (dimers, trimers, tetramers and their metal-binding derivatives) were also tested for their inhibitory effects on HIV-1 IN. Magnesium lithospermate, a magnesium salt of a trimer of caffeic acid, showed the highest activity, followed by calcium rosmarinate, magnesium rosmarinate, lithospermic acid B, lithospermic acid, rosmarinic acid methyl ester and rosmarinic acid with IC50 values of 0.7, 0.8, 1.0, 1.0, 1.4, 3.1 and 5.0 M, respectively. From the EtOH extract of the leaves of T. peruviana, flavonoid glycosides were isolated as potent IN inhibitors with IC50 values of 5 and 7 M, respectively (Tewtrakul et al., 2002). Since various flavonoids are known to demonstrate inhibitory action against various enzymes, it is of interest to investigate their inhibitory activity against HIV-1 IN. Of 183 flavonoids tested, 6-hydroxyluteolin, scutellarein, scutellarin, pedalitin, biacalein dimer, hypolaetin, 7-O-benzyl-6-hydroxyluteolin and biacalein showed appreciable inhibition with IC50 values of 0.4, 0.6, 1.7, 1.3, 2.0, 2.1, 3.0 and 3.6 M, respectively (Tewtrakul et al., 2001). The potent inhibition was observed with flavonoids having at least one pair of vicinal hydroxyl groups and the activity was highly dependent on the number of vicinal hydroxyl groups. On the other hand, the inhibitory activity tended to be decreased by replacing a hydroxyl group with one of methoxyl, acetoxyl, isopropoxyl, isopentenyl, benzyloxyl, glucuronyl and glucosyl groups. Flavanones, flavanonols and chalcones examined in this experiment did not show significant inhibitory activity. “Using combined natural and bio-medical therapies to treat stroke, diabetes, hypertension, skeletal and other chronic diseases – The Amen Scientific Hospital experience” by Dr. Amin Bonsu of The Amen Scientific Hospital, Accra, Ghana Presenting a paper entitled “Using combined natural and bio-medical therapies to treat stroke, diabetes, hypertension, skeletal and other chronic diseases – The Amen Scientific Hospital experience” Dr. Amin Bonsu stated that his hospital has successfully treated and continue to handle many acute and complicated diseases such as the following: • Hemiplegia (stroke), • Upper Respiratory Tract cases • Liver Malfunction • S.T.I’s (Sexually Transmitted Infections) • Cancers • Urinary Retention and prostrate problems • Diabetes 52
  • 53. • Hypertension • Athritis • Candidasis • Chronic ulcers both external and internal Sexual weakness • Spondilosis and Spondilitis • Epilepsy • Typhiod • Malaria • Skin diseases • Snake and Dog bites • Infertility (men and women) • And many other diseases • We also manage H.I.V cases. Dr. Amin Bonsu of Amen Scientific Hospital delivery a speech at the conference He said some referred cases from well known local hospitals and from abroad have been well managed here. Such were the cases of an elderly woman and a Nigerian lady pharmacist who was cured of liver cirrhosis and breast cancer respectively, and a district director of education in Nigeria who has been cured of stroke by our hospital. This has led to an invitation to establishment a branch of the hospital in Port-Harcourt Nigeria. He said his hospital has records of some big and complicated cases from well known hospital as evidence to show that herbal or traditional medicine is effective in treating cases which could not be handled in allopathic hospitals. He cited the following cases: Case 1: Madam Zainabu Gambo is 42 years of age and lives in Kasoa, Accra. She visited our hospital on the 26th July, 2007. She was presented to our hospital with chief complaints of severe lumbago with belated sciatic neuropathy that involves multiple nerves roots compression. She was scheduled for surgery as imaging studies (Lumber X-rays and Lumbar-sacra MRI) L3-L4-L5-S1, with several bilateral nerves roots compression and a degenerated slipped disc at L5-S1. The surgery was to involve screws and rods implants and the estimated cost of the proposed surgery was GH 2,900 Cedis (about 2,900 Dollars). She reported to our hospital and within three weeks, without the surgery, she can now walk, bend, jump and move about without any support or assistance. If over several years she was crippled and she is now healed, then she has cause to rejoice. CASE 2: Mr.Keneth Y. Boateng a resident at Taifa in Accra, a 58 year old pastor with Tel.0243- 160710, visited our hospital on 10th September 2007 with a history of urinary retention and was with a catheter. He was booked for surgical removal of the prostrate gland, but when he visited our 53
  • 54. hospital and after about one and half weeks of treatment he was able to pass urine spontaneously without the use of catheter. He is now in a very satisfactory condition and attending to his regular duties. CASE 3: Osman Dramani is a 31 year old patient with Tel.0242-836523, also visited our hospital on 11th September, 2007 with complaints of dysuria and haematuria. Tentative diagnosis of cystitis prostatitis and stone in the urethral were made. After a week treatment the patient passed out urinary stone measuring about 3cm 1.5cm.Now he is free of any symptoms. CASE 4: Mr. Benjamin Manu is a 54 year old patient, a soldier who resides at Burma-Camp. He presented with severe alcoholism for several years standing. He was treated at the hospital and since then has never taken any alcoholic beverage. CASE: 5 Mrs. Augustine Coleman, a 55 year old patient with Tel.021-403825, resident at Tantra Hills in Accra and also a wife to a former Tarkoradi Secondary School headmaster. She had been down with inability to walk as a result of high blood pressure, Cardiac disease, diabetes and general malaise for 10 years. She had been to various hospitals but without any improvement. She visited our hospital on 9th July 2007, and a few weeks later her high blood pressure stabilized and symptoms referable to the diabetes have abated. CASE 6: This case involves Mr. Benedict A. Gyamfi, a 40 years old man residing at Odorkor in Accra. He was also to be taken to Germany for surgery in the spine after his five brothers who are orthodox doctors have tried many hospitals, but to no avail. He was brought to our hospital and after 4 weeks of treatment, he is now free and going about his normal duties. CASE 7: Madam Rahmat Muntari, age 31, a resident of kasoa in Accra with Tel.028-5059564 had conception problem with fibroid. After three months of treatment, she has conceived and all laboratory and scan reports indicates that the fetus is in its normal position with the uterus free of fibroid. Case 8: Sylvia Dadson, age 33, residing at South Odorkor Estate, Hs. No. 7-14 close and with telephone no. 0246693098. She had cancer of the Uterus with offensive discharge and severe lower abdominal pains. The cancer was diagnosed in korle-Bu Hospital. She went to South End Hospital in America also to London for treatment but there was no success. After receiving treatment in our Hospital in November, 2007, she is now free from abdominal pain, vaginal discharge and the cancer after all examinations. He said his hospital’s herbal products are obtained naturally from extracts from plants which are formulated into powder, cream, and liquid forms. He said his hospital uses the following herbal medicines for the below diseases: • Amen Bofert, Amen Unipains, and Amen cream to treat fibroid, 54
  • 55. • Amen Nogomix, Amen Unac, and Amen powder to treat prostrate enlargement. • Amen Hebton, Amen Wabco, Amen Powder, and Amen Slatix to treat cirrhosis of the liver. • Strokamix, powder, cream, Inflow, Hypermix, Diatix, and massage to treat stroke. • Amen camix, Amen powder, and Amen cream to treat cancer or neoplasm (tumor). • Radiography to diagnose, and Amen Rhwata, Amen Hebton, Amen cream accompanied by massaging to treat early and lasting recovery from osteoarthritis. • Amen, Rhuwata, Amen hepton, Amen cream Amen powder to treat sciatic neuralgia. • Diagnose spondilosis/spondylitis with radiography and treat it with Amen Rhuwata, Amen Hepton, and Amen Cream together with physiotherapy as an important adjunct to management. • Amen Wabco and Amen hebton to provide immediate relief from pneumonia. • Amen Wabco, Amen Hebton, provide effective cure of typhoid fever, always cautioning the patient to adhere to proper hygiene and clean environment. • Amen Wabco, Amen Hepton and Amen Gono to eradicate any condition of gonorrhea. • Amen Wabco, Amen Hebton, Amen Cream, and Amen powder to cure syphilis. • Amen fevermix, Amen Hebton to provide cure for malaria. • Amen Fatomix, Amen Hebton to cure infertility in women and Amen impomix, Amen low sperm count and Amen Bofert for infertility in men. • Amen Epimix, Amen powder and Amen Cream to prevent attacks from epilepsy. • Amen Amix, Amen Hebton, Amen powder and Amen Cream to reverse mental disorders. • Amen Wabco A, Amen Wabco B and Amen Hebton to suppress the progression of the HIV/AIDS virus in a patient. He said due to the effectiveness of their herbal medicines and treatment, we have the vision of extending our services to all parts of the country. This will enhance health delivery in the country and also create employment. He said the main challenge of the hospital to embark upon vigorous research and expansion is lack of financial resource. He used this opportunity to appeal to the government of Ghana and all stakeholders to consider the inclusion of herbal clinics on the National Health Insurance Scheme (N.H.I.S). We are also appealed to the international community to provide more technical and financial assistance to help develop traditional medicine Finally, he appealed to orthodox doctors to respect and recognize the traditional doctors taking into consideration the role they play in health care delivery. He concluded by encouraging traditional doctors to upgrade their knowledge and employ the herbal medicine graduates in their various hospitals and clinics for improvement in herbal medicine. 55
  • 56. Recovery story of Madam Zainabu Gambo from Lumbago disease at Amen Scientific Hospital Madam Zainabu Gambo took the microphone and told the conference how sick she was before she was seen by Dr. Amin Bonsu of Amen Scientific Hospital. She said I have been crippled from severe lumbago with belated sciatic neuropathy for so many years. I could not walk or do anything for myself. My children used to lift me whenever I had to visit the hospital. I have been to many hospitals for treatment, including Ridge Hospital, Korle Bu Hospital and a native doctor in a village in Cape Coast but there was no improvement. I have had sleepless nights with pains. On my last visit to the Korle Bu Hospital I was given a certain medicine for me to go home to die. That was because I had developed ulcer and liver complications as a result of the drugs I had been given by doctors over the years. And in that condition, taking that drug just given me at Korle Bu would only induce vomiting of blood. But when I got home that day, I was very tired and so I just took some of that medicine without checking what drug it was. It was only after three days that I realized the fatal nature of the drug I had taken. By then my sickness had gotten worse. I contacted my personal doctor at Ridge Hospital and he asked me to go to see him for observation along with those drugs. When he saw the drug, he said you are not supposed to take that medicine. The doctor and the administrator of the Ridge Hospital concluded that I be sent back to Korle Bu hospital for physical therapy, Xray and MRI. After that they scheduled me for surgery which was to involve screws and rods implants at the estimated cost of GH 2,900 Cedis (about 2,900 Dollars). Not only did I not have that amount but my heart told me not to agree to that arrangement. Madam Zainabu Gambo (Dr. Amin Bonsu) by her side) telling the conference about how she got healed from severe lumbago with belated sciatic neuropathy at Amen Scientific Hospital after several years affliction without undergoing surgery. Upon the advice of a stranger I met during my last visit to the hospital, I started receiving treatment at Amen Scientific Hospital on July 26, 2007. Within three weeks, without the surgery, I was healed and can now walk, bend, jump and move about without any support or assistance. “Important medicinal plants for treating endemic diseases: Limitations and prospects in Abia State of Nigeria” by Dr. Mrs. Ezinne Enwereji, College of Medicine, Abia State University, Nigeria Dr. Mrs. Ezinne Enwereji speaking on the subject “Important medicinal plants for treating endemic diseases: Limitations and prospects in Abia State of Nigeria” said that there are medicinal plants of interest, which herbal medical practitioners claim are useful in treating common diseases like malaria, typhoid fever, tuberculosis, diarrhea, infertility and others. She stated that her study aimed to highlight important herbs used in treating and/or preventing endemic diseases in Abia State. Study identified limitations to advancement of traditional medicine and ways forward. This is necessary now that most countries are encouraging acceptable 56
  • 57. and affordable local technologies in prevention and/or treatment of common diseases. Though study concentrated on endemic diseases, other diseases of interest were also included. Methods: To prepare this document, author underwent six months apprenticeship on use of herbs from three renowned Traditional Healers. After some initiations, author participated in treatment of patients. Much of the information contained in this paper has not been documented elsewhere. Only information, which an initiate can reveal without committing serious indiscretion, has been provided. Instrument for data collection were review of relevant literature, interview guide and observations made during study. Interview guides used for patients and Traditional Healers contained structured and unstructured questions. Ways forward in practice of traditional medicine were emphasized during study. There was poor knowledge of mode of transmission of infections including HIV. Out of 56 patients studied, only 6 (10.7%) mentioned two modes of HIV transmission, the rest 50 (89.3%), including three Traditional Healers, viewed infections including HIV as a curse from God and also as witchcraft from enemies. This lack of knowledge influenced healers’ method of treatment. Bloodletting was a common method of treating diseases and no treatment was termed complete without bloodletting. This practice could expose individuals to blood transmitted infections. Hygienic conditions of environments where most treatments took place were poor. Animal blood, feathers, cloth, and other ends, characterized the environments. Finding showed that lack of documentation, scarcity of medicinal plants, poor patronage, unhygienic environment, inadequate amenities, and technical skills, as well as ignorance constrained practice of traditional medicine. Also diseases with similar symptoms were treated with common herbs, suggesting that traditional medicine lacked scientific techniques for diagnosing diseases before treatment. This formed basis for mixing assorted herbs during treatment resulting in using a single plant for treating several diseases. Patronage for traditional medicine especially among youths was low. Out of 56 cases treated only 18 (32.1%) persons were youths, the rest were middle and elderly persons. Conclusion: Though patronage for traditional treatment was low, traditional medicine proved effective for augmenting un-affordable and inaccessible orthodox medicines. To ensure sustainability of traditional medicine, Traditional Healers should be encouraged to impress on Government to include in National Health Policies, planting of medicinal plants. Ministry of Agriculture, and Extension Agriculture Stations, could serve as information dissemination centers for anti-deforestation campaigns to sensitize the grassroots on preservation of medicinal plants. There is need to incorporate traditional medicine into existing Primary Health Care system to encourage greater utilization and sustainability. Finally, recognizing and compensating intellectual property rights of traditional healers could improve lack of documentation of traditional medicine while adequately equipped laboratories to process and preserve medicinal plants would advance traditional medicine in communities. 57
  • 58. “Merging Traditional Knowledge and 21st Century Technology in Managing Recalcitrant Diseases” by Gideon Adotey of Aloha Medicinals Inc Speaking on the topic “Merging Traditional Knowledge and 21st Century Technology in Managing Recalcitrant Diseases” Mr. Gideon Adotey said that mushroom-derived immune enhancement compounds have been used in cancer therapy since the earliest written records of traditional Chinese medicine and worldwide since their discovery by Western science in 1976. Examples of such immune enhancement compounds are Lentinan, PSK, PSP, Grifolan, and the cross- linked beta-mannans and other heteropolysaccharides from Cordyceps sinensis. He claimed that Aloha Medicinals Inc, a US based biopharmaceutical company specializing in immune modulation compounds derived from natural sources, is a leading supplier of these compounds to nutriceutical and pharmaceutical companies in more than 40 countries. In the course of their research on immune enhancement in cancer patients, they noted that HIV positive patients had a much better quality of life and far fewer opportunistic infections than could be expected. This led to them developing one such immune enhancement product under the trade name Immune Assist 24- 7 ™ specifically formulated to provide the type of immune enhancement useful in HIV/AIDS patients. Immune Assist 24-7 ™ is an all natural, “Condition Specific” dietary supplement, and although it is not intended to cure HIV/AIDS, it does provides strong immune support and thereby increases the patient’s quality of life by reducing and limiting the severity of opportunistic infections. It is well known that the HIV virus does not kill directly, but rather it is the depression of the patient’s immune function that allows a variety of opportunistic infections to occur. By enhancing the patient’s innate immune response, it is possible to reduce these opportunistic infections and maintain an HIV positive person in a better state of health than would otherwise be possible. We know statistically that there can be a lengthy period of time between the onset of the HIV infection and the patient’s decline into poor health due to decreasing numbers of T-cells, which allows the onset of the OI’s, leading to a cascading downward spiral into poor health and full-blown AIDS. By enhancing the patient’s immune function in the earlier stages of the viremia, we have found that the CD4 cell count tends to remain higher than it otherwise would, and the time period before a notable decline in the patient’s health is considerably extended. This ‘Window of Health’ which occurs between the time of the initial HIV infection and the onset of OI’s or other HIV/AIDS complications can be seen as the optimum time to address the patient’s condition. The best time to start immune enhancement therapy is while the T-cell count is still normal (or near normal) and there are little or no signs of illness. Aloha Medicinals has been researching this product over the last eight years and it has become evident in that time that HIV can be considered, at least to some extent, to be a manageable disease. The research has shown that in most cases when a young and otherwise healthy person with a normal or near normal CD4 count, who just happens to be HIV positive is put on a daily regimen of Immune Assist 24-7, that patient tends to remain in good health and the CD4 count tends not to decline. How long this ‘Window of Health’ can be extended is not currently known, but at least this simple and low cost method offers an option in an otherwise dismal situation. This product has been marketed in the USA for the past 6 years and has been used by more than 100,000 patients with no known side effects or contraindications. It is often used in the USA as a dietary supplement by those on concurrent HAART therapy. Immune Assist 24-7 ™ is a dietary supplement with multiple mechanisms of action. The first mechanism of action is viral binding inhibition triggered by the compound Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), a polyphenol compound derived from green tea and other vegetable sources. Epigallocatechin Gallate has been shown in research to inhibit HIV Gp 120 binding to the CD4 binding region of the T- cell, through a selective receptor binding ability.2 The research implies that it would be difficult to drink enough green tea to have any significant effect in HIV. But in the case of Immune Assist 24-7, Aloha Medicinals has found a way to purify EGCG and suspend it in a time-release matrix so that it gets past the stomach acid without breaking down. This results in higher concentrations of EGCG in the blood stream than could be achieved by just drinking tea. Once the EGCG is absorbed into the blood stream, 58
  • 59. it is thought to cap the CD4 protein receptors on the surface of the T-cells and keep some of the virons from binding, which acts to slow the infection process. The second mechanism of action of Immune Assist 24-7 is immune modulation triggered by the mushroom-derived heteropolysaccharide compounds. These are triple helix, beta-bound polysaccharides of high molecular weight, composed of 5 and 6 carbon sugars. Upon presentation with an immune challenge, the heteropolysaccharides act as trigger molecules, binding to cellular receptors in the immune system called the CR3 receptors,1 which in turn activates those immune cells to perform their programmed function. In this way, the activity and number of T lymphocytes (T-cells), B lymphocytes (B-cells), macrophages and antigen presenting cells (APC) are stimulated and/or modulated. The specific polysaccharide compound derived from the mushroom Ganoderma Lucidum, 1-3, (8), 1-6 beta glucan, (this polysaccharide comprises 18% of the Immune Assist 24-7 formula) is known to trigger the differentiation of CD8 to CD4 cells via the Ras/Erk pathway.3 The third mechanism of action is directly acting antiretroviral agents which are naturally occurring in the ascomycetes fungus Cordyceps sinensis, such as 3’deoxyadenosine and hydroxyethyladenosine. These modified nucleoside compounds interfere with the viral replication through interruption of the RNA/DNA transcription process, mediated by the action of the enzyme Reverse Transcriptase. The molecular structure of these naturally occurring nucleoside analogs are similar to the widely used anti-HIV drugs of the nucleoside reverse transcriptase replication inhibitor class, such as AZT, ddl, ddc and d4c, although these natural compounds have considerably lower toxicity than the synthetic derivatives.4 This American made immune support and antiviral protection product has been approved as a complimentary medicine by the regulatory authorities in a number of countries and has gained popularity among doctors and their patients. In clinical workshops held recently at Novotel Hotels, Accra City Center and Miklin Hotel, Kumasi on January 18 and 19, 2008 respectively, a large number of doctors who were using this immune modulation formula in their clinics and hospitals readily shared with their colleagues how Immune Assist 24-7 ™ is helping them to treat various clinical conditions. One such doctor is Dr. Baa Lugu-Zuri of Natural Healing Centre in Accra. “The effect of treating chronic, debilitating and incurable diseases/disorders with natural remedies” by Dr. Ba-Lagi Gregory Lugu Zuri, Natural Healing Centre, Accra, Ghana Addressing the conference on the topic “The effect of treating chronic, debilitating and incurable diseases/disorders with natural remedies” Dr. Ba-Lagi Gregory Lugu Zuri said that modern man is doing things which are grossly in conflict with the rules the Maker has made for us in terms of our eating habits, hygiene attitudes and mental state. Things are so bad, that all of us are living in a state of spiritual, emotional, sexual, financial shock and several others. And with that state of mind most people are difficult to heal when they are sick, because their biological systems are usually as good as shut down. And therefore any kind of therapy applied be it medication, equipment therapy or whatever, the people that are sick cannot respond to the treatment with that state of mind. The other thing is, that physicians do not know enough about the Greatest Manual to the extent that they assume that they can take over from the God given Healer in the person and cure the person. With these combined faults, it is difficult to reverse chronic, debilitating, degenerative and incurable diseases. 59
  • 60. Dr. Ba-Lagi Lugu Zuri of Natural Healing Centre addressing the conference He stressed that the immune system is the healer in the person and it consists of two elements, and in an ordinate and an inordinate unit. The ordinate unit consists of various elements which are alive and which fight a ward off invading pathogens. It consists basically of the microphage, the T-cells, the B-cells and all these elements, which combine together to form the defense force of the body. The inordinate unit of the immune system consist of the fluids, which carry a potent either alkaline of acidic and constitute the environment in which the ordinate unit of the immune system operates such that, if it is acidic it creates a conducive environment for the flourishing of germs and other pathogens and the suppression of the ordinate unit of the immune system. But, if it is alkaline, there is a reverse effect such that the ordinate unit of the immune system is boosted and the pathogens are suppressed. In all chronic, debilitating, degenerative and incurable diseases there is a common denominator and that is the bio-chemical system of the patient is so compromised to the extent that both the ordinate and the inordinate units of the immune system are not functioning well. Meanwhile pathogens and degenerative processes are enhanced, thus making them pervade the systems of the patient. Therefore the patient’s system is usually toxic and/or acidic. And until the physician can reverse these bio-chemical disorders there is no way he can win against these diseases and disorders. He said that Naturopaths begin the treatment for all diseased conditions and disorders with a detoxification program. This usually involves colon cleansing, blood purification, and mental and emotional rehabilitation. These have the effect of stabilizing the patient’s system well enough to enable it respond well to the treatment that will be given to the patient. At Natural Healing Centre, after taking the history of the patient, and after doing a primary diagnosis, we would usually draw a roadmap for the treatment of any disease. This entails analyzing, and understanding what condition precedes the other and what is the primary causive agent of the condition. And with that sorted out we would then do a therapy diagnosis to determine which type of therapy is best suited for the particular patient. Additionally a diet analysis would also be done to find out which foods would support the recovery of the patient. Armed with these bits of information the treatment would then begin. The results accomplished with this method of treatment are so tremendous that a fifty-one year old man who was HIV-positive with a viral load count of 440.000 copies per ml. had the viral load count reduced to 4.012 copies per ml. in the period of 12 months. Another patient, who is a female, aged 17 years, came to us with a viral load count of 34.342 copies per ml. and after 4 months of treatment the viral load count dropped to 18,984 copies per ml. This confirms that this method can accomplish good results with HIV/AIDS, and then there is no doubt that we will also attain good results with other diseases and conditions. He concluded that people must eat right to prevent them from falling sick and they must eat right in order to recover from sickness. And physicians must employ the Healer in the patient in order to be able to heal him. Anything short of that will fail. And that’s why there is a lot of failure in the management of chronic, debilitating, degenerative and incurable diseases. If there is any reason why 60
  • 61. we are succeeding at Natural Healing Centre with these conditions we are following to the letter these Natural Rules of life. “Malaria – Is there a possible natural cure?” by Dr. Samuel Sasu, Director/Consultant, Healthworks Stress Management Consultancy and Ayurvedic Center, Accra, Ghana Dr. Samuel Sasu talked on the topic “Malaria – Is there a possible natural cure?” Dr. Sasu maintains that we have not been taking care of our outer environments and since we do not take care of our inner environments too, the mosquitoes find nice places to lay their heads and multiply and then they attack us and give us malaria. According to the World Health Organization, malaria is caused by a parasite called Plasmodium, which is transmitted via the bites of infected mosquitoes. In the human body, the parasites multiply in the liver, and then infect red blood cells. Symptoms of malaria include fever, headache, and vomiting, and usually appear between 10 and 15 days after the mosquito bite. If not treated, malaria can quickly become life-threatening by disrupting the blood supply to vital organs. In many parts of the world, the parasites have developed resistance to a number of malaria medicines. The approximate estimate of the World Health Organization is that 40% of the world’s population mostly those living in the poorest countries, are at risk of malaria. Every year, more than 500 million people become severely ill with malaria. Most cases and deaths are in sub-Saharan Africa. However, Asia, Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Europe are also affected. Key interventions to control malaria include: prompt and effective treatment with artemisinin- based combination therapies; use of insecticidal nets by people at risk; and indoor residual spraying with insecticide to control the vector mosquitoes. Dr. Sasu said that we spend so much money on malaria treatment yet there are so many natural things we can do to prevent malaria, however, nobody is talking about it because there are some “vested interests” who want to legislate medicine and say that their medicines alone can cure malaria and so they lobby governments to get their medicines forced upon the public. He said we should eat healthily, especially a very low fat diet, avoid excessive use of sugar, cultivate hygienic habits, and most of all maintain a very clean and sanitary environment both within and outside of our communities. He said we should involve the government agencies and press media in creating a national awareness about the indispensability of clean environment as an effective natural way to curb the breeding of mosquitoes in our communities and prevent the spread of malaria. “Plant Export – The threat and the strategies” by Dr. Daniel Abbiw, Author and Ethnobotanist, Accra, Ghana Dr. Daniel Abbiw spoke on the topic “Plant Export – The threat and the strategies” He said that the forest is a natural heritage which must be preserved for the present and future generations. He said the forests serves two main purposes - first, the influence that the association of trees as a whole has on the immediate locality or the area generally, such as rainfall and relative humidity (the indirect benefits), and secondly, the forest produce such as timber, fuel-wood, medicinal plants, mushrooms, snails and so on that may be obtained from it (the direct benefits). There was a time when forests covered a much larger area of the land surface than they do now. As a result, both the indirect benefits and the direct benefits were taken for granted. However, man’s activities tend to destroy the forests and woodland - the natural habitat of both plants and animals, and also water bodies. The short-term personal gains of a few is threatening the long-term interest of the whole nation. 61
  • 62. The slash-and-burn system of traditional farming, with its associated shifting cultivation, has been identified as the principal cause of forest destruction and environmental degradation in developing countries. Also large-scale plantations of Hevea brasiliensis (Willd.) Müll.-Arg. in the plant family Euphorbiaceae, Para rubber, in the Western Region, Elaeis guineensis Jacq. in the plant family Palmae, oil-palm, in the Eastern, Central, Western and parts of Ashanti Regions and of late, plantations of non-traditional export crops such as Ananas comosus (L.) Merr. in the plant family Bromeliaceae, pine apple, in the Central, Eastern and Western Regions have contributed to the destruction of the forests and woodland. Other activities include: a. collection and gathering of fuel-wood b. burning of charcoal c. commercial timbering d. construction of dams for hydro-electric power generation e. exploitation of mineral resources by both large-scale and small-scale miners f. road and rail construction g. housing, factories and other infrastructure h. industrial pollution i. bush fires during the harmattan season from November-March, and j. collection of plant medicine from the wild for both local use and for export. There is also the invasion of farmlands and secondary vegetation by Chromolaena odorata (Linn.) King & Robinson, in the plant family Compositae, Siam weed, popularly called locally ‘akyempong’, a notorious weed of cultivated land throughout the forest zone. As a result of forest destruction, both the indirect and direct benefits of the forest are adversely affected. Presently the area of the forest zone in Ghana is about 82,000 km2, representing 34% of the total area of the country. Besides sacred or fetish groves there is hardly any intact virgin forest left outside the 200 constituted Forest Reserves. There are some 2,500 such groves of all sizes from an acre to five square miles large. Some were formerly burial grounds for chiefs and important people. Groves are relics of the forest, and may contain rare species. For example, Zanthoxylum leprieurii Guill. & Perr. in the plant family Rutaceae, locally called oyea in Akan and berebum in Wasa, a very rare species, still occurs in one such grove in the Eastern Region. He said that Ghana has come a long way from this, and many more plants are now being exported. A number of factors have contributed to this export boom. These include: a. the establishment of the Export Promotion Council to encourage the export of both traditional and non-traditional goods b. the easy access to information on the Internet c. the open market policy d. the presence of free merchantable plants in the wild e. the insatiable desire for foreign exchange f. the presence of ready overseas markets, and g. the global demand for natural products PROBLEMS There are problems on the field with: the timing the method of harvesting the seeds and the method of debarking the trees 62
  • 63. 1. Harvesting and Quality of Products. Each exporter engages the services of many collectors - sometimes whole villages including school-going children and all. The collectors work individually and independently, as such there is usually a scramble for the seeds, leading to: a. early harvesting of immature and poor quality seeds b. wrong harvesting methods that destroys the mother plants c. over-exploitation and destruction of other plants in the vicinity, and d. adulteration of the products THE THREAT The threat to plant species exported depends on the following factors: the source from which the materials are obtained and the part or parts of the plant collected Plant materials collected from the wild are the most threatened. The removal of : whole plants stem bark roots, tubers, corms and rhizomes poses more threat to the species than collecting only the leaves or the fruits. Furthermore, the scramble for the products, coupled with the indiscriminate exploitation of the same results in the destruction of other plants in the vicinity STRATEGIES Suggested strategies include: 1. Mass education of: school children and the youth plant collectors and their agents; and also farmers - both traditional and commercial. This latter group should: - desist from the slash-and-burn system of traditional farming - stop farming the land right up to the banks of rivers and to FR boundaries - stop farming on hill-tops and hill-sides, and - stop clear-felling the forest for plantations 2. Sustained harvesting of the plants of export potential. Wrong harvesting methods such as total debarking of a tree and digging up of all the root system of a plant have been one of the major causes of plant depletion in the wild. 3. Cultivation of medicinal and other plants of export potential. Exporters of medicinal plants and other plants of export potential and manufacturers of local herbal drugs should be educated and financed where necessary to cultivate their own plants. 4. Protecting medicinal plants and other plants of export potential in: Forest Reserves and Sanctuaries like: - sacred and fetish groves - arboreta - botanical gardens, national parks and biosphere reserves from where 63
  • 64. exploitation by rotation is strictly controlled on the sustained yield system 5. Encouraging traditional methods of conservation. For instance: surrounding such plants with superstition, myths and taboos offering a coin as payment to the plant before a part is collected the belief that some plants are fetish and should neither be cut down nor used for fuel-wood 6. Legislation. Commercial exploitation of: whole plants tree bark root bark tubers, corms and rhizomes from the wild - both for local manufacture of drugs and for export should be banned by legislation. Companies and individuals who require these plant parts should cultivate them. RECOMMENDATIONS In order to protect medicinal plants and other plants of export potential - a heritage from past generations - from the threat now posed by indiscriminate collection and by traditional and commercial farming systems: a workshop should be organized to educate plant collectors on the correct methods of harvesting the products as a prelude to the harvesting season appropriate disciplinary measures should be instituted against collectors for over-exploitation and destruction of other plants; Farming right up to the banks of rivers and the boundaries of both Forest and Game Reserves should be banned by legislation. A major replanting project should be undertaken to reforest the banks of all major rivers denuded through traditional farming. Similarly, farms adjacent to the boundaries of Forest and Game Reserves should be destroyed and replanted with trees. Farming on hills should similarly be stopped by legislation. A replanting project can be tackled in phases as funds are realized, and clear- felling the forest for plantations has to be reviewed. The collection of plants in commercial quantities from the wild is one of the contributing factors leading to the degradation of the environment or the decline in the populations of the plants concerned. With public education on the importance of the forests, and the enforcement of the necessary rules and regulations to ensure the protection and preservation of our plants, it should be possible to manage the forests for sustained yield to the benefit both the present and future generations. “Eye Yesu Adom - a herbal formula to treat HIV/AIDS” by Madam Victoria Owuo, Indigenous Healer and member of GHAFTRAM, Accra, Ghana In an oral presentation in the Ga language which was interpreted in English, Madam Victoria Owuo, a herbalist and member of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, and the proprietor of Vico Herbal Center in Accra, told the conference that she has been practicing herbal medicine for the past five years. She said that she has been treating people living with 64
  • 65. HIV/AIDS, ulcer, infertility, sexually transmitted diseases, diabetes, breast cancers, etc with herbal therapies. She introduced to the conference two patients that she has been treating of HIV/AIDS. She said for the treatment of HIV/AIDS, she uses a herbal formula which has the trade name “Eye Yesu Adom”. She said she has submitted this herbal formula to the Centre for Scientific Research Into Plant Medicine for phytochemical analysis and safety assessment since December 23, 2004. She said that the Centre has recommended that further tests be carried out to establish its effectiveness or otherwise, however, that process requires a huge financial expenditure which she cannot provide at this moment. She said in spite of this, she has been using this formula to treat patients infected with the HIV virus with satisfactory success. She said her challenges are (1) to find the financial support to carry out further tests of her herbal formula “Eye Yesu Adom” to establish its effectiveness as recommended by the Centre for Scientific Research Into Plant Medicine in order to procure the necessary clearances from the Food and Drugs Board to begin production and marketing of the medicine in manner acceptable by law to those who are really in need of treatment; (2) Her other challenge is how to find nutritional support for the patients receiving treatment from her; she has been providing nutritional support for her patients from her own meager resources. (3) The other challenge she is facing is finding the means to transport to the Korle Bu Hospital or Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research to procure routine check up of CD4 counts of her patients. She took advantage of this conference to appeal to the Government of Ghana, researchers and philanthropic institutions to consider her as a viable partner in the fight against HIV/AIDS and to support her work especially when she has been treating her patients without any charge whatsoever. 65
  • 66. DAY FOUR - THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2008 - FOURTH PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION Establishing a set of guidelines to educate the populations of third-world countries on the cultivation, use, management and conservation of forest products and clean environment towards sustainable development. Establishing a set of guidelines for evaluating and expanding existing educational methodologies to incorporate indigenous knowledge as a way to enhance cultural competency and safeguarding this valuable knowledge base; and Establishing a set of guidelines for the promotion and advancement of reciprocal partnerships between scientists and indigenous people on the manufacture and marketing of natural products. “The advancement of science and cultural education towards social and economic development of Ghana” by Dr. Rexford Osei, Director of Science, Ministry of Education, Ghana Dr. Rexford Osei presented a paper entitled “The advancement of science and cultural education towards social and economic development of Ghana”. He said the topic was wider since culture belonged to another Ministry so he wants to limit to his Ministry’s presentation since science and technology covers development for all Ministries of the Government of Ghana. According to Dr. Osei, Government of Ghana since its independence in 1957 has recognized the role of science and technology in national development and therefore established the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). He said the council with its thirteen institutes in addition to the universities in Ghana, undertake research and services in science and technology. He said the vision and goal of the national science and technology education policy is to support national socio-economic development with a view to lifting Ghana to a middle income status by the year 2020 through the development and perpetuation of science and technology culture at all levels of society. He said notwithstanding the apparently considerable science and technology infrastructure established, science has showed little progress and development because of • Absence of clear policies on science and technology; • Inadequate funding • Weak co-ordination or integration of science and technology activities and • Absence of an advocacy system for the development and advancement of science and technology. In conclusion he said the Government and the ministry of education are laying greater emphasis on ICT to enhance development in the country. “The preservation of indigenous knowledge and culture in the development of the Ghanaian society” by Mr. Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, National Commission on Culture, Ghana Mr. Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, spoke on the topic “The preservation of indigenous knowledge and culture in the development of the Ghanaian society” He said that Traditional knowledge is thus an integral part of the cultural heritage of local communities that have developed and preserved it. 66
  • 67. Traditional knowledge has been used as a significant source for commercial research as well as a starting point for product development in the areas of medicine and pharmaceuticals (e.g. Recipes, farming and fishing techniques) toiletries and cosmetics. He stated that recently, Western Science has become more interested in Traditional Knowledge and realized that traditional knowledge may help to find useful solutions to current problems, sometimes in combination with modern scientific and technical knowledge. Nevertheless, the Western Intellectual Property Laws recognize traditional knowledge as information in the public domain freely available for use by anybody. The evidence is on the other hand quite clear that diverse forms of Traditional Knowledge have been appropriated under Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) by researchers and commercial enterprises without any compensation to the creators of the knowledge or possessors of this knowledge. This problem has been identified by Nations, Regional groups and International organizations. The World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in an attempt to arrest this unfortunate situation set up the Intergovernmental Committee on Intellectual Property and Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge and Folklore. WIPO carried a fact finding mission and published a document, and has also drawn up a draft statute on this subject. ARIPO, has also organized series of meetings on this subject and has also together with OAPI issued a model instrument on this subject. The most important of these attempts at solving this serious problem is the attempt by the individual African and developing countries on this subject. The National Commission on Culture is the governmental agent directly responsible for the preservation of culture and Indigenous Knowledge or Traditional Knowledge. Nevertheless, the NCC, to achieve the maximum result on preservation of Traditional Knowledge and culture had collaborated with other organizations including the Ministry of Justice. Mr. Kwame Antwi Anyimadu of the National Commission on Culture addressing the conference The NCC has adopted a multi-purpose approach in the preservation of traditional knowledge. (A) ORAL TRADITION. The Indigenous Knowledge as the name suggests refers to knowledge that was held by the original settlers or indigenous of a particular locality. This knowledge have been used and handed over from generations to generations through oral tradition. This method of teaching traditional knowledge is still used in this country and has been encouraged. The NCC has had a good collaboration with Traditional Healers Association on preservation of Traditional Medicinal Knowledge (TMK). The Traditional Healers Association had been encouraged to 67
  • 68. record their knowledge as a better means of preserving same. The centre at Akwapim Mampong is doing a lot on this subject. It must however be pointed out that the oral tradition of transferring the knowledge still exist in this country. (B) LEGAL PROVISIONS AND PROTECTION Attempts have been made through the Law at preserving Indigenous Knowledge. (i) THE COPYRIGHT LAW Until recently, the copyright office was one of the departments directly under the National Commission on Culture. As has been stated already, the Copyright law defines Folklore at section 76 of the law. Section 4 of Act 690 states as follows: 4(1) An expression of folklore is protected under this Act against (a) reproduction, (b) communication to the public by performance, broadcasting distribution by cable or other means and (c) adaptation, translation and other transformation” The rights of folklore are vested in the President on behalf and in trust for the people of the Republic (section 4(2). These rights, under section 17 of Act 690, exist in perpetuity. Under section 44 of Act 690, a person who commits an offence in relation to folklore shall on conviction be fined between Five hundred and One thousand Penalty units and/or to a term of imprisonment up to three years. (500 penalty units is now GH¢6000 and One thousand penalty units, the maximum fine is now GH¢ 12000 the equivalent of between US$6000 and US$12000.) The Law, also under section 59 establishes the folklore Board. These provisions were carried from the previous Copyright Law, PNDC Law 110 of 1985. The National Commission on Culture (NCC), did therefore set up the National Folklore Board which administers folklore in the country. Amongst the good works done by this Board is the identification and registration of national folklore and the promotion of effective use of folklore in the country. The Board has now granted a lot of licenses to individuals and groups for the effective and lawful use of folklore. It would further be appreciated if the Board starts prosecuting offenders who sell, offer or expose for sale or distribution in the Republic copies of expressions of folklore without permission in writing of the National Folklore Board. (ii) UNFAIR COMPETITION ACT, 2000, ACT 589. A recent law which may address this problem is the Unfair Competition law that was enacted in 2000. 68
  • 69. The law provided against the unfair competition generally and also against the unfair competition in respect of secret information. Even though the law does not provide for criminal remedy it is a good attempt that would complement the efforts of the NCC in preservation of Indigenous Knowledge. It should be noted that the method of transferring Indigenous Knowledge has always been done effectively with trade secrets. The protection against the unfair competition of trade secrets is an assurance to holders of the knowledge that they can easily prevent the unlawful copying and usage of their knowledge. (iii) DRAFT PROPOSAL FOR THE PROTECTION OF TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, GENETIC RESOURCES AND FOLKLORE. However, the NCC, on realizing that the legal protection of Indigenous Knowledge was inadequate did set up a three member committee and charged them for the draft proposals for the Protection of Traditional Knowledge (TK), Genetic Resources (GR), and Folklore (F). After series of meetings, the committee submitted a comprehensive report which the NCC in collaboration with the Ministry of Justice is working towards a comprehensive legislation. The summary of the comprehensive report is as follows: JUSTIFICATION FOR CONSIDERING TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE, GENETIC RESOURCES AND FOLKLORE AS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY. The NCC has recommended that the above subjects form a bunch of knowledge that promoted out of some people’s independent efforts and research and must therefore be regarded as Intellectual Property. It is the idea of the committee and for that matter a recommendation of the NCC that even though the knowledge has not been documented and therefore difficult to identify individual authors with the knowledge, it can be identified with families and communities because of the mode by with they were preserved and passed on. It is the firm decision of NCC that traditional Knowledge is not in the public domain and needs to be protected. Consequently, definitions for the words are provided as follows: FOLKLORE: a definition in the copyright law adopted. TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE: Traditional knowledge refers to tradition based literary, artistic or scientific works, performances, invention, scientific discoveries, designs, marks, names and symbols undisclosed information and all other tradition-based innovation and creations resulting from intellectual activities in the industrial, scientific, literary or artistic fields. GENETIC RESOURCES: Genetic resources are/or includes organisms or parts thereof, populations or any other compound of ecosystems, including ecosystems themselves, with actual or potential use or value for humanity. TRADITIONAL BASED refers to knowledge systems, creations, innovations, and cultural expressions which have generally been transmitted from generation to generation and are generally regarded as 69
  • 70. pertaining to a particular people or its territory and are constantly evolving in response to a changing environment. 2. SCOPE OF PROTECTION It is the decision of the NCC that the following must be protected as traditional knowledge: Agricultural Practices Medicine Technical innovation and inventions Ecological practices and methods Traditional usage of fruits, plants and animal for medical purposes; Spiritual healing; Traditional fishing methods; Traditional birthing methods; Traditional bone setting techniques; Cultural heritage Folksongs, daces and drams; Rites and rituals; Traditional psychiatry; Religion; Trapping, hunting and fishing techniques; Traditional food culture and preservation techniques; Handicrafts; Traditional environmental preservation and conservation methods; and Language The NCC further proposes that traditional knowledge must include related medicines and remedies, biodiversity related knowledge, expression of folklore in the form of music, dance, song, handicrafts, designs, stories and artwork, elements of language such as names, geographical indications and symbols, and, movable cultural properties. Further, the NCC had agreed to encompass intellectual activity in the Genetic resources, classification of organisms according to their location, specie, biological orientation and their formation in a particular geographical setting. Plants – (floral) horticultural, timber, medicinal, animals (fauna), herbal practice. The protection must take into consideration the economic, natural habitat conservation, commercial, aesthetic, medicinal, ecological preservation of and value of the ecosystem; biological resources in both insitu and exsitu conditions community knowledge and technologies local and indigenous communities and Plant breeders. And finally, knowledge resulting from indigenous intellectual activity observation of nature and trial of particular application in the industrial, scientific, literary and artistic fields. (Ref: OAU Model Law, page 37, paragraph 15 of document GR/TKF/IC/INF/5) BENEFICIAIRIES The NCC proposes that the beneficiaries of protection under the instrument must include individuals, indigenous communities, nations and sub-regions which own and maintain the Traditional Knowledge, 70
  • 71. genetic resources and folklore and these are among others Collectors, Researchers, Extractors and Developers. Researchers, collectors and extractors of active elements in plants, medication development need to be given limited recognition. Shared ownership of the commercial exploitation of developed or extracted Genetic Resources must be encouraged. 4. MANAGEMENT OF RIGHTS It is proposed that National and or regional bodies or authorities should be created and given responsibility for the management of Traditional Knowledge and Genetic Resources and folklore. The commission already has the National Folklore Board to manage these rights in Ghana. (This is an adaptation of paragraph 161 of page 57 of WIPO document IC/9/INF/5) LIMITATIONS The NCC excludes the following areas from protection; Traditional systems of access, use or exchange of biological resources Access, use and exchange of knowledge and technologies by and between local communities The sharing of benefits based upon customary practices of the concerned local communities, provided that the provision of paragraph 2 shall not be taken to apply to any person or persons not living in the traditional and customary way of life relevant to the conservation and sustainable use of biological resources. The continued availability of traditional knowledge for the customary practice, exchange, use and transmission of traditional knowledge by traditional knowledge holders; The use of traditional medicine for household purposes; use in government hospitals, especially by traditional knowledge holders attached to such hospitals; or use for other public health purposes. It calls for regime of storage categorisation of the drugs. (The NCC has thus adopted page 37 of OAU Model Law and paragraph 2 and Article 8 of IC/9/INF/5) 6. TERM OF PROTECTION It has been proposed that these rights should be protected in perpetuity just as folklore. However, it has been suggested that derivations and extractions from Genetic Resources be protected in line with the term of protection of intellectual property rights such as patents etc. 7. FORMALITIES Article 11, page 51 of WIPO document IC/9/INF/5 was adopted with few modifications. It has been therefore reported as follows: Eligibility for protection of traditional knowledge should not require any formalities. 71
  • 72. The competent authority appointed under this convention to manage Traditional knowledge. Folklore and Genetic Resources shall open and maintain registers in which shall be registered, records or inventory of traditional knowledge, genetic resources and expression of folklore. Protection of Traditional Knowledge /Folklore/ Genetic Resources shall not be dependent on the registration of the work. The purposes of registration are to maintain a record of work to publicize the rights of the owners and to give evidence of the ownership and authentication of TK/GR/FKL 8. SANCTIONS, REMEDIES AND EXERCISE OF RIGHTS It has been recommended that appropriate criminal, civil and or mediation sanctions and remedies be adopted. Consequently, the sanctions and penalties recommended include, inter alia, written warning; fines; automatic cancellation/revocation of the permission for access; confiscation of collected biological specimens and equipment; permanent ban from access to biological resources, community knowledge and technologies in the country 9. RELATIONSHIP WITH INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY CONVENTIONS The NCC has recommended for consideration, the provisions in article 3 of the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. Further, it has been recommended that nothing in the proposed Convention may be interpreted as altering the status or diminishing the level of protection under any convention affecting the rights and obligations of state parties deriving from any international instrument relating to intellectual property rights or to the use of biological and ecological resources to which they are parties. The NCC has thus done a very tremendous work in an attempt to preserve Indigenous knowledge. He hoped that the collaboration between NCC and Ministry of Justice would be maintained to achieve maximum control of use, prevent misuse but yet promoting wider legitimate use and channel a proper share of benefits. “Organic Farm Training in Ghana – Present and future prospects” by John Owusu, Ministry of Food and Agriculture Talking on the topic “Organic Farm Training in Ghana – Present and future prospects” John Owusu, gave a brief explanation about the origin of soil, how effective it is to our economy in this present state. He also went further to lay out products which have been derived from our natural soil. He also outlined the adverse effects of how mankind tend to use the soil, its importance and most 72
  • 73. significantly, the farming practices which in one way or the other contribute to the efficacies of our natural soil discovery. He also made mention of agricultural machineries which are used to enhance cultivation. He included the usage of chemicals which are used for cultivation on our farms in our ecology. Since agriculture is the theme of our speaker, we discovered the names of pests and diseases which are on the increase due to improved varieties of agricultural activities. The issue of health was an important topic he never left out in his presentation. He gave reasons as to why we have imbalanced nutrition which is a result of over reliance on chemical fertilizers used in enriching our products which already have oxygen in them. He gave suggestions to curb the situation. He also made mention of two different locations (Kpando Torkor in the Volta Region and Adankwa Achianse a suburb in Suhum in the Eastern Region of Ghana), and two different crops which have been put into the usage of organic farming, and have benefited greatly from it. Finally, the bottom line of our speaker’s presentation is to create the awareness of certain agricultural practices which can be of immense help to the economy. Also, to do away with certain chemical fertilizers which are applied on our farms to agricultural purposes. He included the importance of our health issues and how organic farming which is a good farming practice should be introduced at the early stages of our youth. He went on to give the advantages of soil if we put it in great usage. He said Ministry of Food and Agriculture should be set up field offices in our various localities to educate citizens to get involved in this useful farming practice which could go a long way as far as agriculture in Ghana is concerned. 73
  • 74. DAY FOUR - THURSDAY, MARCH 13, 2008 - FIFTH PLENARY SCIENTIFIC AND TECHNICAL SESSION Promoting the development/review of jurisdiction and patent laws that adequately captures intellectual property rights emanating from Traditional Medicine, international, regional, state, local laws and legislations taking into account relevant intellectual property rights regimes that would ensure adequate protection of traditional medical knowledge and allowing its sustainable development. Looking at current patent law, how well does it capture intellectual property generated by traditional healers? What are possible shortfalls? A framework for the enactment of local, regional, and international laws to protect the rights of local people to discovery of medicinal and biological diversity against bio-piracy. “The scope and implications of current laws of Ghana on indigenous knowledge and local entrepreneurship” by Mrs. Grace Issahague, Principal State Attorney, Office of the Attorney General, Republic of Ghana Speaking on the topic “The scope and implications of current laws of Ghana on indigenous knowledge and local entrepreneurship” Mrs. Grace Issahague categorically stated that the laws of Ghana do not provide any legal protection for traditional medicine knowledge. She said the primary legislative instrument governing patent protection in Ghana covers pharmaceuticals and is designed to meet TRIPS obligations. A set of Handbook of Best Practices: Intellectual Property Management in Health and Agricultural Innovation being donated to Mrs. Grace Issahaque of the Ministry of Justice by Professor W. Hennessey of Franklin Pearce Law Center, New Hampshire, Dr. Ossy MJ Kasilo of WHO African Regional Office And J. William Danquah of Africa First, LLC in attendance. The books were donated by Patent Attorney Gerow D. Brill. She said to be patentable an invention must be: (a) New: - must not be anticipated by prior art, not known or used by others in the country. Prior art defined under the law to include everything that has been disclosed to the public anywhere in the world. (b) Involve an inventive step – should not be obvious to a person having ordinary skills in the art. (c) Be capable of industrial application – must have utility. Matters excluded from Patent protection are: - discoveries - diagnostic methods, surgical or therapeutic methods, treatment of the human body - plant and animal life other than micro-organisms -public morality etc. She said that the Government is currently reviewing patent law to incorporate TRIPS flexibilities and safeguards to include Doha Paragraph 6, the 30th August Decision – Use of compulsory license to ensure access to affordable medicines. 74
  • 75. She said Intellectual Protection could be used by practitioners to protect their products. She said patency is a two way effect and that it is a contract between the practitioner and the government where the government gives the practitioner protection. The society thus grants you protection for twenty (20) years. She advised Practitioners to lobby the Government and policy makers for the enactment of the appropriate laws to protect their interests. What are the implications: - criteria under patent act can have significant impact on the number of prospective patent applications - need to consider the African Regional Instrument for Traditional Knowledge and Folklore - use of utility models to protect herbal products - use trade secrets to market products. - consider branding by using distinct trademarks, geographical indications. - could also consider protection under Unfair Competition Law. She however noted that the challenge in Africa was that no data is kept. There is no documentation and hence lots of data are lost or distorted when being passed from generations to generations. Mrs. Grace Issahague said apart from patency, there are also trade secrets which are protected for life and utility models which have a protection span for seven (7) years. She cited coca cola brand being an example of the trade secrets. Way forward: - sui generic system to protect traditional knowledge - need to articulate concern, shape policy - intellectual property system individualistic - identify suitable/appropriate protective systems to add value to traditional knowledge "Benefit Sharing and PIC: the current state of play" by Professor Graham Dutfield, Co-Director, Centre for International Governance, University of Leeds, United Kingdom (This paper was delivered by Professor William O. Hennessey) His paper explored the prior informed consent concept as applied to the knowledge and biological resources of traditional communities. The discussion was confined to transactions involving such communities, on the one side, and on the other, commercial, governmental and scientific entities. Accordingly, prior informed consent was covered in the context of consent being sought from members of groups very different from the seekers in terms of culture, worldview, expertise and power. It is not self-evident that a concept originating in modern healthcare situations should have any relevance to the search for fairer ways to trade in traditional knowledge and associated biological resources. Nonetheless, prior informed consent has been central to much of the discussion on access and benefit sharing since the Convention on Biological Diversity came into force. What are the concerns that led to the promotion of prior informed consent as a means of ensuring fairness in transactions involving traditional knowledge and biological resources found in developing countries, including those known about, used, and in many cases managed and improved, by traditional communities? And how have such concerns translated into law and policy? As this paper explained, these concerns all tend to be regarded as aspects of “biopiracy”, a popular catchall phrase that has focused attention on perceived inequities in the ways that the benefits of biodiversity-based commerce 75
  • 76. are distributed. As to the development of responsive law and policy, this chapter shows that prior informed consent tends, as a consequence of seeing the problem through the “lens” of biopiracy, to be linked to proposals to reform patent law in ways that are meant to make the patent system more transparent and fair, namely those relating to disclosure of origin. The benefits for traditional communities of this approach are far from certain. Having said that, this need not be a cause for concern if prior informed consent for traditional communities continues to be seen as a fundamental right to which they are entitled, and not an issue to be pursued exclusively in the context of patent reform. It is of course one thing to demand that prior informed consent be central to the achievement of equitable relationships between business, government and universities on the one side and traditional communities on the other; it is quite another to put such a demand into practice. In order to assist the process of effective prior informed consent implementation, this paper assessed the meaning, origins and uses of prior informed consent, and the assumptions underlying its application to traditional knowledge and biological resource transactions. Basically, the key assumption is that communities, or groupings of communities, are bounded political entities with systems of governance that allow for direct and definitive negotiating and deal-making between traditional communities and bioprospectors. The paper also dealt with the complexities that need to be overcome before prior informed consent can become a workable policy tool in the present context. Using a case study approach, the paper showed why applying prior informed consent requirements in very diverse and extremely different cultural settings, and in very tense political contexts, can be immensely challenging. Even with the best intentions and the most carefully drawn up plans, things go wrong, and misunderstanding, confusion, inappropriate exclusion, disappointment, resentment and even internal conflict can ensue. It also shows that PIC may in many cases be inapplicable because a great deal of knowledge and resources is already in free circulation and can no longer be attributed to a single originator community or country. This should not, however, lead us to conclude there can be no moral obligations even in the absence of legal ones. He contended that as a consequence of the manifold and complicated linkages between drug discovery and marketing, the prior informed consent concept may do little to resolve biopiracy in its broadest sense. This is not to suggest that prior informed consent is not a useful concept. In my view, traditional communities have a right to expect that bioprospectors will formally request their prior informed consent. However, prior informed consent is not a substitute for respect of their basic human rights as individuals and as peoples. Prior informed consent should be seen as a necessary but not sufficient requirement for the establishment of more equitable bioprospecting arrangements; but only if it is acquired according to procedures that are effective, culturally appropriate, transparent and flexible. “How to Turn Intellectual Property Knowledge and Experience into Economic Power and Social Progress in Health and Agriculture: The Secrets Developing Countries and Their Indigenous Peoples Need to Know About Intellectual Property Practices in Developed Countries” by Professor William O. Hennessey, Chair, Intellectual Property Graduate Program, Franklin Pierce Law Center, Concord, New Hampshire, USA Advances in information technology (IT) are rapidly transforming economic relations and technology transfer practices between more developed and less developed countries. Science-based technological innovation no longer takes place just in developed countries such as the U.S. Europe, and Japan. 7 Some formerly developing countries, such as Korea and Mexico, are catching up and joined the developed countries. 8 And some major developing countries, including Brazil, China, India, and South Africa, are now at the forefront in the development - and increasingly basic research - for 7 see, e.g., Bill Hennessey, Changing Traffic Patterns in Technospace, 2005 Mich. St. L. Rev. 201 (2005) available at, 8 The Republic of Korea and Mexico have now become members of the "club" of developed countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development [OECD] see 76
  • 77. innovations in health and agriculture 9 . The new term for such countries is "Innovative Developing Countries" or "IDCs". 10 Recognition of the importance of proper intellectual property ("IP") policy to economic development is rapidly increasing. 11 Knowledge about intellectual property creation and innovation management is also spreading to other developing countries, including the African countries represented at this meeting. This has important public policy implications for health and agriculture in Africa and in the entire world. 12 In 2006, the World Health Organization's Commission on Intellectual Property Rights, Innovation, and Public Health issued a comprehensive report recommending, among other policy suggestions that "developing countries should establish, implement or strengthen a national programme for health research including best practices for execution and management of research, with appropriate political support, and long-term funding." The report also recommended international efforts to "foster innovation in developing countries." 13 Thanks to modern information technology, the challenges are great but the opportunities are even greater, because capacity building is becoming easier. This was noted in an important recent article in the United States: Developing countries are facing a cycle of converging pressures: loss of arable land, depletion of natural resources, relentless industrialization, sprawling urbanization and rapid population growth. Providing for adequate health and nutrition will remain a challenge well into this century. Not surprisingly, to address these issues, developing countries are increasingly considering innovative advances in biotechnology. Yet cutting-edge biotechnologies, predominantly owned by entities from industrialized nations, invariably engender IP constraints that complicate access. In developing countries, inadequate capacity in IP management inhibits international technology transfer, stymies domestic innovation and impedes access to lifesaving technologies. By building and strengthening human and institutional capacity in IP management, developing countries can overcome many of these obstacles. Increased capacity will facilitate international development partnerships and encourage increased international technology transfer of proprietary health and agricultural biotechnologies. Equitable access to critical biotechnological innovations will improve basic health and nutrition, especially among the poor of developing countries, disproportionately represented by women and children. When women and children are chronically sick and hungry, there is no social justice. Strengthened human and institutional IP capacity in developing countries will also drive domestic innovation, generating products and processes that address the specific needs of the country and region. The connection between IP innovation and technological progress is fundamental; IP management capability is interwoven into the innovation framework, providing 9 Richard T. Mahoney, Building Product Innovation Capacity in Health, 10 Brazil adopted its first Innovation Law in 2004 readnews&itemid=1809&language=1 see also R.A. Mashalkar, Nation Building through Science and Technology, 1 Innovation Strategy Today 16-37, C. Morel et al, Health Innovation in Developing Countries to Address Diseases of the Poor,1 Innovation Strategy Today 1-15 (2005) available at, and Peter Philips and Camille Ryan, Building Research Clusters: Exploring Public Policy Options for Supporting Regional Innovation Ryan%20Clusters%20and%20Innovation.pdf 11 William O. Hennessey, “Patent Protection and Its Role in Promoting Invention, Innovation, and Technological Development” (WIPO 1999) available at index.php 12 see G. Pascal Zachary 'Browning' the technology of Africa editorials/archives/2007/12/27/2003394332 (December 12, 2007), William Hennessey, "Enacting International Laws and Implementing Public Policies To Protect The Rights of Indigenous Peoples to Knowledge and Biodiversity: Challenges and Opportunities, presented to the 1st Global Summit on HIV/AIDS, Traditional Medicine & Indigenous Knowledge in Accra, Republic of Ghana (March 2006) and William O. Hennessey, What's New? Innovating the Teaching of Innovation Law, 12 J. of I.P Rights (India 2007) pp. 118-128 available at 13 Public Health, Innovation, and Intellectual Property Rights, Report of the Commission (WHO 2006) 175, 182 77
  • 78. incentives, protecting innovative endeavors, providing a shelter for development and fostering a platform for commercialization and market entry. Such protection is essential, as innovation requires intensive investment of intellectual and physical capital. If ignored, the innovative assets of developing countries will remain disorganized, haphazardly managed and chronically underutilized, to the detriment of the public good. 14 Innovation in health and agriculture in developing countries brings more than improvements in health and agriculture to the peoples of those countries; it must also bring economic development, increased social justice, and poverty reduction. This can only happen if the conditions for cooperation between all parties are present and there is adequate understanding of how IP rights work in such a way that all parties benefit. Article 8(j) of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity [CBD] of 1992 provides that: “[e]ach Contracting Party shall, as far as possible and as appropriate, respect, preserve and maintain knowledge, innovation and practices of indigenous and local communities embodying traditional lifestyles relevant for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity and promote their wider application with the approval and involvement of the holders of such knowledge, innovations and practices and encourage the equitable sharing of the benefits arising from the utilization of such knowledge, innovations and practices”. 15 Article 16(4) of the CBD provides that: [e]ach Contracting Party shall take legislative, administrative or policy measures, as appropriate, with the aim that the private sector facilitates access to, joint development and transfer of technology referred to in paragraph 1 above for the benefit of both governmental institutions and the private sector of developing countries… And the recognition of the importance of such traditional knowledge (TK) in the development of the global trade regime was reaffirmed in Paragraph 19 of the November 2001 Doha Ministerial Declaration of the World Trade Organization [WTO] in connection with the Agreement on Trade- Related Aspects of Intellectual Property [TRIPS Agreement]: We instruct the Council for TRIPS, in pursuing its work programme…to examine inter alia the relationship between the TRIPS Agreement and the Convention on Biological Diversity, [and] the protection of traditional knowledge and folklore… At a World Intellectual Property Organization [WIPO] Symposium in 2002, I proposed a conceptual framework for national recognition of rights to identification, information, participation, benefit sharing, conservation, and preservation for the holders of traditional knowledge and folklore that choose to exploit their rights. 16 I also asserted that effective systems of national recognition must be developed before an international agreement for minimum standards or harmonization of such standards in international agreements. That paper is online, and I do not intend to revisit that discussion here. 14 Jon R. Cavicchi and Stanley P. Kowalski, IP in Developing Nations: Use the kitchen door, National Law Journal (Dec. 10, 2007) available at 15 William Hennessey, Toward a Conceptual Framework for Recognition of Rights for the Holders of Traditional Knowledge and 16 Folklore, Proceedings of the WIPO Caribbean Symposium on Indigenous Knowledge and Folklore, Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago (February 2002) 78
  • 79. Professor William Hennessey of Franklin Pearce Law Center in New Hampshire addressing the conference Since that time, proposals have been made for an international regime on access and benefit sharing by the Secretariat of the CBD, pursuant to Paragraphs 44 (n) and 44(o) of the Plan of Implementation adopted by the World Summit on Sustainable Development held in Johannesburg in September 2002. 17 At the 1st UNAIDS Summit here in Accra in March, 2006, I discussed the problem of how the 19th and 20th Century international colonial system created the conditions of "unjust enrichment" and economic exploitation by the Western powers of the traditional knowledge of African peoples (including misappropriation of art and agricultural knowledge, and 'biopiracy'). That paper also explored the reasons why the peoples of Africa need to understand the principles of IP that underpin the advanced economies if they are to rectify the situation and claim their due in the 21st Century. 18 Given that history, naturally, there is pervasive distrust by the people most in need of IP knowledge in Africa of both the motives and the methods of multinational corporations in the developed countries. We cannot change history. But what we can change is the distrust that arises because African peoples do not know enough about the principles of IP protection, management, and technology transfer practiced by such corporations. Without access to the kinds of practical information that such corporations have and use day-to-day, policy makers and knowledge workers in developing countries cannot make proper decisions about whom they can trust. We cannot trust others until we have trust and confidence in our own knowledge. "Knowledge is power." 19 Fortunately, practical knowledge about how to create and manage IP for economic development in health and agriculture that had been, until recently, unavailable in most developing countries is now at hand. This paper is a brief report on "best practices" for IP management in health and agriculture set out in the recently published online IP Management in Health and Agriculture: Handbook of Best Practices (2007) published by two non-profit organizations, the Centre for Management of Intellectual Property in Health Research and Development (MIHR) in the U.K., and the Public Intellectual Property Resource for Agriculture (PIPRA) in the U.S. 20 The Handbook provides a wealth of suggestions on approaches that the public sector in particular can employ to achieve its goals within an evolving IP framework, considering national laws and policies, international IP policies, effective IP management, creative licensing practices that assure global access and affordability, institutional IP management capabilities, efficient patent offices, and transparent IP court systems. 21 A common thread of principles runs through the handbook, explaining how and why IP creation, management, and exploitation create economic wealth in developed countries, and how developing countries can also create wealth from the intellectual assets of their peoples. The following discussion addresses some of those principles. 17 UNEP/CBD/MYPOW/6 (7 January 2003) see regime.asp 18 see note 3. That paper is also online at 19 The quotation is attributed to the English scientist and philosopher, Sir Francis Bacon 20 A. Krattiger et al, MIHR/PIPRA Intellectual Property Management in Health and Agriculture: a Handbook of Best Practices (2007) available at 21 id. p. 5 79
  • 80. I. Seeking IP Rights: How To Turn "Holders" of Knowledge into "Owners" of Property In a famous case in 1980, the U.S. Supreme Court made the observation that "anything under the sun that is made by" man is patentable. 22 (Laws of nature and natural phenomena cannot be protected by patents.) But even inventions which may be patentable do not become "IP" until the holder has been given grant of a property right through a patent issued by an official patent office. The property right in an invention must be created through the inventor's own efforts through the filing of a patent application and its examination by a patent office. Traditional knowledge in and of itself cannot be patented because it does not meet the requirement of novelty. But technical improvements in traditional knowledge may meet that requirement. This is sometimes called "New Traditional Knowledge" ("NTK"). 23 The procedures for preparing and filing patent applications are very complicated. In developed countries, lawyers undergo years of training in order to attain the competence to do this. Over the past 25 years, students from countries such as China, Taiwan, Korea, and more recently, India and Brazil, have been traveling to the United States, Europe, and Japan to learn these valuable skills. (Many lawyers and government officials from African countries including Ghana have come to study IP at my law school.) The knowledge they take back to their home countries is the foundation for knowledge holders in those countries to acquire patents in their own countries and around the world. More and more, companies in Brazil, China, India, and South Africa (among many other IDCs) are seeking patent protection in the developed countries. Likewise, the "holder" of a trade secret needs to make efforts in order to become the "owner" of a trade secret under the law. Many medicinal practices are handed down from one generation of practitioner to the next, sometimes for many generations. But unless the holder of the secret practice makes efforts to ensure that others do not have access to it, that secret cannot be protected under the law. 24 The Handbook of Best Practices includes a set of analytical tools (a "toolbox") to help inventors understand how to create property out of inventions by seeking property rights. 25 It explains the requirements for patents, trademarks and related rights, copyrights, and trade secret protection. A "holder" of traditional knowledge may become an "owner" of an IP right only by taking the necessary steps to turn knowledge into property. But until such legal steps are taken, there is no basis for legal protection. Therefore, it is important that holders have access to competent legal advice from an IP specialist. 26 22 Diamond v. Chakrabarty 447 U.S. 303 (1980) Article 27.1 of the TRIPS Agreement says " patents shall be available for any inventions, whether products or processes, in all fields of technology, provided that they are new, involve an inventive step and are capable of industrial application. " 23 "Member States may control their genetic resources and acquire benefits that may later develop from the use of those resources, including inventions that may ultimately be patented because they are new, useful and involve an inventive step." Communication of the United States to the Council for TRIPS WTO IP/C/W/469 (13 March 2006) 24 Article 39.2 of the TRIPS Agreement says "Natural and legal persons shall have the possibility of preventing information lawfully within their control from being disclosed to, acquired by, or used by others without their consent in a manner contrary to honest commercial practices so long as such information: * is secret in the sense that it is not, as a body or in the precise configuration and assembly of its components, generally known among or readily accessible to persons within the circles that normally deal with the kind of information in question; * has commercial value because it is secret; and * has been subject to reasonable steps under the circumstances, by the person lawfully in control of the information, to keep it secret. 25 John Dodds and Anatole Krattiger, The Statutory Toolbox: An Introduction Section 4. The Handbook has successive chapters on How to Read a Biotech Patent, Trademark Primer, Plants, Plant Breeders' Rights, Gene Banks, Plant Variety Protection, IP and Information Management among other topics. Each topic explains how a "holder" of knowledge can become an "owner" of intellectual property. 26 For example, there are some non-profit organizations that serve as clearing houses for such advice. see, e.g.,,, 80
  • 81. II. IP, once created, must be exploited or it is worthless The greatest American President, Abraham Lincoln, once said, "The patent system... added the fuel of interest to the fire of genius, in the discovery and production of new and useful things." 27 In order for property to create wealth, it must be exploited. A farmer who owns a field but does not cultivate it gains nothing from his ownership. A company that builds a factory and does not use it has wasted its resources. Similarly, an "owner" of an IP right who does not exploit it gains nothing, and the world gains nothing from it either. 28 Exploitation of patent rights takes place through commercialization. Even if the holders of new traditional knowledge (NTK) are able to get patent protection for it and become owners, they may not have the skills or investment necessary to commercialize it. And so it may be necessary for them to commercialize their IP through arrangements with partners who have that capacity, through a licensing arrangement, in which the IP owner continues to control the IP asset, or by a complete transfer of the protected knowledge by an assignment of rights in exchange for compensation. In many countries, researchers in universities and government institutes may also be able to turn their knowledge into property. But knowledge of how to protect, manage, and transfer IP may take many years - even decades - to attain. In 1996, the government of the Republic of South Africa issued a White Paper on Science and Technology, which proposed a "National System of innovation." 29 It issued its National R&D Strategy in 2002. 30 The South African Research & Innovation Management Association [SARIMA] was established in 2002. 31 The Association collects information from universities and government research institutions about the activities of their Technology Transfer Offices ["TTOs"]. For many such institutions, the skills necessary for the protection and commercialization of knowledge will come slowly. A wise plan for development of the necessary skills is one that has patience, and does not require immediate returns. III. Exploitation of IP for economic cannot take place without collaboration and trust between different parties Technology transfer for economic development is not about a one-time transaction in a marketplace between a buyer and a seller of knowledge who will never meet again. Rather, it is about long-term relationships. In order for such long-term relations to develop, there must be mutual persistence, a willingness to cooperate, and a belief that the other party can be trusted. Technology transfer cannot take place in a climate of mutual hostility, suspicion, and name-calling. The parties that shout out loudly about "biopiracy" will never be able successfully to do business with the people they are calling "biopirates." Although there are clear cases of misappropriation of traditional knowledge from indigenous peoples to international markets, the number of such cases is low. Not every multinational company engaged in international biotechnology transfer is a "biopirate." As this meeting demonstrates, there are many people hard at work to bring the fruits of advancements in health and agriculture to the peoples of the developing countries who need them. That includes successful partnerships for the protection and commercialization of traditional knowledge for economic development. The once-secret knowledge that will bring power is now available to everyone at 27 Abraham Lincoln, Second Lecture on Discoveries and Inventions (Feb. 11, 1859).Thomas Edison, the American inventor of the first successful electric light bulb, is quoted as saying "Good fortune is what happens when opportunity meets with planning." 28 It is estimated that more than 90 percent of patents in the United States are never commercialized. Such patents do, however, become part of a large body of information which is eventually available to all after the patents expire. 81
  • 82. INTERACTIVE FORUM ON PROMOTING THE DEVELOPMENT/REVIEW OF JURISDICTION AND PATENT LAWS THAT ADEQUATELY PROTECT TRADITIONAL MEDICAL KNOWLEDGE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT Professor William O. Hennessey, Franklin Pearce Law Center: In giving an example of what is biopiracy, I will say that any taking of any plant from any developing country by any company in the developed countries is biopiracy. So the political argument that is going to be made is the same thing as an American or European company coming in and digging a gold mine here in Ghana without having any approval. If we claim that traditional knowledge in the form in which it is acquired is not patentable invention it is so because it existed in the natural world and this is not something which can be patented. One thing that we see though is the refinement of traditional knowledge and this is the point I will encourage everybody to think about. This is what we call new traditional knowledge. And what do we mean by new traditional knowledge? If you take a herbal mixture which is used for some sort of a therapy and then you take it into a laboratory and you isolate and identify the bio-active compounds and then you purify and package it or you give it a delivery system may be something you take as a capsule, that improvement may be a patentable invention. So traditional knowledge in its original form may be not patentable but purification or improvement or refinement of or the giving of a delivery system to that same traditional knowledge may be a patentable invention. The idea of commercializing a new traditional knowledge such as a herbal product on the local and international markets is that you have to create a product that is marketable; it has to be packaged properly and must go through some form of quality control test and all those provisions that satisfy international standards. DAY FIVE - FRIDAY, MARCH 14, 2008 - ACTIVITIES MARKING THE CONCLUSION OF THE CONFERENCE ROUND TABLE DISCUSSIONS AND NETWORKING Dr. Ossy MJ Kasilo, Advisor on Traditional Medicine at World Health Organization African Regional Office, served as the chairperson for this session, which was conducted under a most civil and animated circumstances and with the participation of all participants. Oral presentation of Godfried Kpodo, member of GHAFTRAM on “Gabriel Herbal Mixture” Godfried Kpodo, herbalist and member of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association was given an opportunity to introduce his herbal formula called “Gabriel Herbal Mixture” to the conference. Mr. Kpodo said that the active ingredients of this therapy are aloe vera, anis, cloves, garlic, ginger, mango leaves, pawpaw leaves and small green garden eggs. He said that this medicine has the capacity to treat a wide range of illnesses, for example, malaria, fever, typhoid, sore throat, hepatitis, diarrhea, coughs, asthma, cervical spondylosis, diabetes, hypertension, jaundice, infertility, liver diysfunction, skin disorders, gout, stroke and the management of people living with the HIV/AIDS. He said the medication is effective in detoxification and restoration of electrolytic imbalance and boost immune system of the body. He said the recommended dosage is 4 table spoons twice daily before meals for adults between the ages 18 years and above and 1 table spoon twice daily before meals for children between the ages of 6 years and 14 years. He stated that his therapy has not gone through any clinical trial but has been dispensed to many patients, some of whom are HIV/AIDS positive and are now putting on weight and living a healthy life. 82
  • 83. He concluded that he requires financial and technical assistance to carry on further research on this medicine in order to meet all the standard requirements. From left to right: Professor M. Hattori, Ms. Fiona Eberts, Dr. E. Brako, Dr. Amin Bonsu, Dr. Kofi Kondwani (Conference chairman), Mr. Gideon Adotey, Mr. Peter Arhin and Dr. Balagi Lugu-Zuri taking questions from participants during a roundtable session on March 14, 2008 at Fiesta Royale Hotel. Accra. Dr. Ossy Kasilo, WHO Afro: I called on traditional healers to work together to make their herbal products well packaged so that we can show to every body that traditional medicine actually works. We can only do that if we collaborate to show that our products are safe and efficacious, and if not, let us look for other therapies because you have several others. Professor William O. Hennessey, Franklin Pearce Law Center: This discussion is very interesting and I want to coming a little bit about medical practice in the United States. In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the earliest time I am familiar with, the practice of medicine in the United States was a monopoly of the doctors of medicine, the MDs who had graduated from the established medical schools. There were other schools of medicine, for example, schools of what was called osteopathy and there were chiropractors and schools of chiropractors, which had to do with the manipulation of bones and in that period, it was unheard of for a medical doctor to refer a patient to an osteopath or a chiropractor because of a belief which was not said expressly but was implied that they were quacks; that they were exploiting the fears and beliefs of patients and that their practices were not effective. That has changed completely in United States. I will give you an example. I am from the State of New Hampshire. There is a very famous medical school in New Hampshire, Dartmouth Medical School which is one of the most distinguished medical schools in New Hampshire, in the United States or in the world; and at the hospital of Dartmouth Medical School, which is a research hospital, they have now not only admitted doctors of osteopathy but they have also brought in chiropractors into their clinical facilities, and nutritionists have also become a part of their medical team. I think there are two reasons behind this. One is that different traditions actually see the same thing in different ways. And that the traditions that develop over a long period of time between professionals that talk to each other, they may be addressing the same problem but they are addressing it in different language or different way. It has become clear that in the United States the idea that the osteopath or the chiropractor is somehow inferior to the medical doctor or the nutritionist or the nurse practitioner is somehow inferior to the medical doctor, that mentality has disappeared not completely of course, but it has become much less than it was 50 years ago. I will give you another example. In the traditional medical doctor practice in the United States, there is always the distinction between the surgeons and the internal medicine practitioners in that surgeons always thought that the internists are not surgeons because they are not good enough and the internists would say well the surgeons are like mechanics of the car who take out the muffler and put a new one in it, and so there is a mutual disdain between these specialized practitioners and I think that is what is contributing to the crisis in healthcare everywhere because the most important question is who are we treating and who are the patients? And certainly here we can see that the traditional healers are the ones who are doing the major lifting and are upholding the health of the communities. But we have to see this as a common healthcare problem and the way out of it is for the different kinds of practitioners to think of themselves as a team and to refer patients back and forth from one kind of practice to the other as a way to deal with this common problem and ultimately give effective medical attention to patients who are in need of treatment. 83
  • 84. Dr. Kofi Kondwani, Morehouse School of Medicine: Over the last ten years, a new national research institute is being established in the United States through the National Institutes of Health. It is called the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM). Currently it is a Center but it has the potential to be up graded to an Institute status just like the Heart, Lung and Blood Institute or National Cancer Institute. NCCAM has categorized more than 400 different complementary or alternative modalities into five major categories. The categories are: 1) Mind-Body Medicines which are approaches that heal the mind or body by using the mind. This category include: meditation, tai chi, hypnosis and other approaches that start with the mind. 2) Energy Medicines, which include healing modalities that moves energy throughout the body. This category include: Qi Gong, Therapeutic Touch, Reiki, Polarity, Healing Touch, and electro magnetic healing. 3) Manipulation and Body Based modalities that move the muscles or bones in the body to influence healing. This category include: Chiropractic, Osteopathic manipulation, massages and reflexology 4) Biologically Based Practices that use substances from the natural world as a source of healing which include: herbs, fish oil, animal extracts, vitamins and other natural products. 5) Whole Medical Systems are medical systems based on concepts and approaches that are completely different and distinct from western medicine. This category include: Traditional African and Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic medicine and Homeopathy. As applications for research in complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) are received by the NCCAM, they look at which category the application falls into as they try to spread the research dollars to include all categories of CAM. However, very few dollars have been allocated to African approaches to health. Most funds are allocated to Asian or European approaches. We must do more to alert NCCAM and other funding agencies to the wide range of healing possibilities that Africa is willing to share with the world when approached respectfully and compensated appropriately. Lawrence Sewer, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands: I am a retired US army sergeant and certified herbalist from US Virgin Islands but our way of life is similar to what prevails here. As traditional healers, we have been helping and healing people with the knowledge we got from God and our ancestors, improving upon our healing methods with the technologies of the present. The dilemma of lack trust and appreciation that African traditional medicine practitioners face in their practice is the same as in my home country. I have been manufacturing my drugs and practicing herbal medicine for the past 17 years but it is only 7 years ago that I got recognition from my community. So I suggest that the next conference should have a format whereby traditional healers can demonstrate how they develop their herbal preparations from raw materials level to the so called advanced stage so that the industrialist countries can appreciate the ingenuities and capabilities of the traditional healers in medicine and healthcare. Dr. Leopold Zekeng of UNAIDS Ghana during the interactive period of Tuesday March 11, 2008 had stated it is the policy of UNAIDS that the use of condom is one of the interventions for the prevention of the spread of HIV/AIDS. Ms. Fiona Eberts had hinted to Dr. Leopold Zekeng during that session that benzene found on condom should have something to do with causing cervical cancers in the women. The question of condom and benzene arose during this session. Dr. Emmanuel Brako of Winona State University said that cervical cancer is caused by human papillomavirus. Wikepedia defines Benzene as: “An organic chemical compound and a known carcinogen with the molecular formula. It is sometimes abbreviated Ph–H. Benzene is a colorless and highly flammable liquid with a sweet smell and a relatively high melting point. Because of this, its use as an additive in gasoline is now limited, but it is an important industrial solvent and precursor in the production of drugs, plastics, synthetic rubber, and dyes. 84
  • 85. Benzene exposure has serious health effects. Outdoor air may contain low levels of benzene from tobacco smoke, automobile service stations, exhaust from motor vehicles, and industrial emissions. Vapors from products that contain benzene, such as glues, paints, furniture wax, and detergents, can also be a source of exposure. Air around hazardous waste sites or gas stations will contain higher levels of benzene. Breathing high levels of benzene can result in death, while low levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Eating or drinking foods containing high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, and death. The major effects of benzene are chronic (long-term) exposure through the blood. Benzene damages the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and depress the immune system, increasing the chance of infection. Some women who breathed high levels of benzene for many months had irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries. It is not known whether benzene exposure affects the developing fetus in pregnant women or fertility in men.” Dr. Ba-Lagi Lugu-Zuri was in agreement with Ms. Eberts that it is likely that benzene is contributing to cervical cancer in women through using condom during sexual intercourse. Gideon Adotey, Aloha Medicinals Inc: I believe strongly that there is hope for traditional medicine if we can apply science and technology to it appropriately. To buttress this point, I would like to share my company’s experience with you. We produce our products mainly from medicinal mushrooms which we grow under rigidly controlled laboratory conditions in glass containers to capture all the metabolic exudates. We use no soil or sawdust in our product but rather white millet or sorghum as substrate. We grow the mushroom for a period of about 12-20 weeks and then harvest the mycelium, fruitbodies, primordia, and all of the extra-cellular compounds which have been produced over the entire life cycle. The harvested material is dried, extracted with hot water and polysaccharide component separated out through precipitation by addition of ethanol. The precipitate is then dried and powdered. Quality control on the raw material is confirmed through FDA certified third-party analytical labs and a certificate of analysis is issued to each lot. While most manufacturers test only for the few items required by FDA such as plate count and mold, we analyze for a comprehensive array of substances. This includes more than 90 heavy metals, aflatoxin, polysaccharide content and many. Samples of our raw materials are also submitted to USDA Organic Certification. This USDA Organic Certified raw material is then given to FDA certified tableting company. The tableting company produces our products according to specification we have given and ensures that the raw material supplied is not stolen in order to void losing subsequent production contracts By this kind of arrangement, our company is in direct control of our raw materials and hence there is no need to give out the secret of the product formula to any company. In this case, we will only be paying for services rendered to us while maintaining our raw material and the secret to the product formulation. Healers with indigenous traditional knowledge can adopt the above strategy to improve upon the quality of their products by collaborating with other research institutions but not necessarily selling out the secret formula of their products to such research institutions. If you will recall, coca-cola has no patent for its formula and has been very effective in protecting it for many more years than a patent would have. In fact, Coca-Cola refused to reveal its trade secret under at least two judges' orders. Cola- Cola’s example can be emulated by traditional healers to keep their special knowledge out of the hands of their competitors. 85
  • 86. Currently, our company is expanding to a number of countries in West Africa; including Nigeria, and there is the need to ensure that our product is not counterfeited. We are therefore developing a number of anti-counterfeiting features for each product to prevent them from being faked in those countries. We also want to improve upon our packaging so that we can consistently promote the product throughout the region. Kojo Eduful, Vice President of Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners: It is very important for the Registrar of the Traditional Medicine Council in considering applications for registration and licensing of traditional medicine practitioners to insist that every applicant must first undergo a standard educational training to ensure proper categorization in terms of specialization, proficiency and professionalism in the practice. AWARD OF CERTIFICATES Mr. J. William Danquah with the help of some of the delegates presented certificates to participants for their contributions to the success of the conference. VOTE OF THANKS Mr. Peter Arhin, Director of Traditional and Alternative Medicine Unit of the Ministry of Health on behalf of the Government of Ghana and Africa First, LLC thanked all the participating institutions and delegates for their invaluable contributions which assured an outstanding outcome of the conference. And on that note, the conference came to a close. SUMMARY From the policy statements of the Government of Ghana, the World Health Organization, the United Nations Joint Programmes on HIV/AIDS and the Ghana AIDS Commission made part of this Report, we can see a very bleak picture painted on the progress so far made in the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS and other chronic diseases over the past three decades. However the proceedings of the conference pointed with certainty that traditional medicine, in spite of its many challenges, has the capacity of providing effective, safe and affordable therapies for the treatment and management of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis, cancer, sickle cell, anaemia, diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, stroke and mental disorders if the governments of the nations will give the necessary political and financial support to harnessing the potentials of traditional medicine. The conference noted that many diseases can be prevented if we change our social behavior. According to the World Health Organization, health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely the absence of disease or infirmity. Better health is central to human happiness and well-being. It also makes an important contribution to economic progress, as healthy populations live longer, are more productive, and save more. However, we gather from Dr. Ba-Lagi Lugu-Zuri’s presentation (see pages 59-61) that we are living in a state of spiritual, emotional, sexual, financial shock because of our eating habits, hygiene attitudes and mental situation and so we get sick often and when we get sick, it becomes difficult to heal because our biological systems are usually shut down to the extent that they become unresponsive to any kind of therapy or treatment He also said that physicians do not know enough about the Greatest Manual of the human body so they assume that they can take over from the God given Healer in the person and cure the person. With these combined faults, it is difficult to reverse chronic, debilitating, degenerative and incurable diseases. That was amplified by Dr. Leopold Zekeng of UNAIDS Ghana Office when he stressed on social responsibility – abstention from unprotected sex with multiple partners as a key component in the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, HIV/AIDS (see page 40). Fiona Eberts and John Owusu in their separate presentations (pages 30-34) and (pages 72-73) respectively asked the conference to be aware of the global emergence of chronic diseases as a result of chemical fertilizers, growth 86
  • 87. hormones and pesticides used by huge commercialized agribusinesses to produce agricultural produce (which have harmful effects not only on the land, plants and animals but on human beings) and Mono Sodium Glutamate and Aspartame “excito-toxins” now being used in food packaging to generate addiction to harmful diets and eating habits. Dr. Samuel Sasu (page 61) also stated that the most effective method of preventing malaria and other diseases is by eating healthily, especially a very low fat diet, avoid excessive use of sugar, cultivate hygienic habits, and most of all maintaining a very clean and sanitary environment both within and outside of our communities. He said we should involve the government agencies and press media in creating a national awareness about the indispensability of clean environment as an effective natural way to curb the breeding of mosquitoes in our communities and prevent the spread of malaria. The conference also found from the presentation of Mr. Kwame Anyimadu Antwi (see pages 66-72) that the National Commission on Culture which is the governmental agent directly responsible for the preservation of culture and Indigenous Knowledge in Ghana, has decided that the following must be protected as traditional knowledge: Agricultural Practices Medicine Technical innovation and inventions Ecological practices and methods Traditional usage of fruits, plants and animal for medical purposes; Spiritual healing; Traditional fishing methods; Traditional birthing methods; Traditional bone setting techniques; Cultural heritage Folksongs, daces and drams; Rites and rituals; Traditional psychiatry; Religion; Trapping, hunting and fishing techniques; Traditional food culture and preservation techniques; Handicrafts; Traditional environmental preservation and conservation methods; and Language However, the Commission has not succeeded in its efforts in getting the appropriate laws passed by the Government of Ghana for the advancement and protection of indigenous knowledge and traditional medicine. For example we gather from the presentation of Mrs. Grace Issahaque, Principal State Attormey from the Office of the Attorney General (see pages 74-75) that there are presently no legal provisions in the laws of Ghana available to take care of intellectual property right and patent issues relating to traditional knowledge or traditional medicine. CONFERENCE RECOMMENDATIONS: Based upon the principal objectives of this conference and the proceedings emanating from it, the conference submits the following: (a) The conference recommends that the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Ghana, the World Health Organization and the world scientific community should give a critical consideration to working on a priority basis with the following orthodox and traditional medicine practitioners on further research and development of their natural medicines and bio- medical techniques into safe, affordable and effective therapies in keeping with acceptable standards: 87
  • 88. i. Professor Charles Wambebe, International Biomedical Research in Africa, Abuja, Nigeria (See page 37-39) ii. Traditional Doctor Jaiyeola Akintoye, Akure, Nigeria (See pages 46-47) iii. Professor Masao Hattori, Institute of Natural Medicine of Toyoma University of Japan (See pages 46-52) iv. Dr. Amin Bosu of Amen Scientific Hospital of Accra, Ghana (See pages 52-56) v. Mr. Gideon Adotey of Aloha Medicinals Ghana Limited (See pages 58-59) vi. Dr. Ba Lagi Lugu Zuri, Natural Healing Centre, Accra, Ghana (See pages 59-61) vii. Madam Victoria Owuo of Accra, Ghana (See pages 64-65) viii. Mr. Godfried Kpodo of GHAFTRAM, Ghana (See pages 82-83) (b) The issue of nutrition featured prominently in the deliberations of the conference. From the presentations made by Professor Sakyi Awuku Amoa, the Director General of the Ghana AIDS Commission (See pages 23-25) and Dr. Leopold Zekeng, the Country Coordinator of the United Nations Joint Programme on HIV/AIDS in Ghana (see pages 28-30) acknowledged the indispensability of nutrition in the management of HIV/AIDS and Honourable Rodney Ere, Secretary General of Bayelsa State Action Committee on AIDS, Nigeria, (see pages 25-28) stated that the first achievements of his committee in its programmes to reduce the incidence of HIV in Bayelsa was to get the State Government to enact a policy on free antiretroviral drug and disbursement of N10,000 (equivalent of $100.00 monthly per person to assist the nutritional needs of the people living with HIV/AIDS. From these submissions, we came to fully appreciate that nutrition is a key component in the treatment process of HIV patients who are taking antiretroviral drugs. In fact, Professor Amoa disclosed that the Ghana AIDS Commission has contracted the services of the Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research to carry out a research into the effects of Alfalfa Leaf Nutrient cake supplementation on the nutritional status of HIV/AIDS patients. Dr. Zekeng in his answer to one of the questions posed to him during the interactive session of Tuesday, March 11, 2008 agreed that it is counterproductive for HIV positives to take antiretroviral drugs on empty stomach and that nutrition must go side by side with the drug intake. He said he hoped that moneys that various governments are receiving from Global Funds, PEPFAR, Clinton Foundation and Bill Gate Foundation will be utilized to provide nutritional support for HIV infected persons who are receiving antiretroviral drugs at no user’s fee. (See page 42) Professor Amoa in answer to similar question posed to him during that session said that his Commission gives a lot of support to associations of people living with AIDS for nutritional purposes (see page 44). Speaking on the topic “Moringa – its nutritional, health, social and economic benefits to the nations” (see page 34) Mr. George Zokli pointed out several benefits which can be derived from the use of moringa leaves which include, but not limited to the following: • The juice from the leaves is used to stabilize blood pressure • Flowers of moringa tree are used to cure inflammation • Pods of the tree are used to treat joint pain • Roots are used to treat rheumatism • The bark of the tree can be chewed to induce digestion • Moringa leaves are full of essential disease-preventing nutrients such as vitamin A, which acts as a shield against eye disease, skin disease, heart ailments, diarrhea, and many other diseases. • Vitamin C, fight a host of illnesses including colds and flu. • Calcium, which builds strong bones and teeth, and helps prevent osteoporosis. 88
  • 89. • Potassium, essential for the functioning of the brain and nerves. • Proteins, the basic building blocks of all our body cells. • The seeds of Moringa Oleifera are used to purify water. He said that the young leaves are commonly cooked – soups, stews and salads and are exceptionally good source of: Vitamins Minerals Vitamin A Iron Vitamin B Calcium Vitamin C Phosphorus Magnesium Sodium Potassium Manganese Zinc Copper He said 25 grams daily of Moringa Leaf Powder will give a child the following (based on RDA): Protein – 42% Magnesium– 61% Iron – 71% Vitamin A – 272% Vitamin C – 22% Calcium – 125% Potassium– 41% Some of the participants, namely, Dr. Ossy MJ Kasilo from the World Health Organization Africa Regional Office also told the conference about the health benefits they have individually gotten from the use of moringa. Based upon the above, it is the recommendation of the conference that the World Health Organization and the Ministries of health in the African region consider investing in intensive research into the appropriate uses of moringa as a nutritional package not only for the treatment of HIV/AIDS but as an integral part of the primary healthcare regiment for the populations within the sub-region. (c) The issue of science education for the development of indigenous knowledge and traditional medicine was taken up by the conference. Dr. Rex Osei, Science Director of the Ministry of Education in his presentation made it clear that it is the policy of the Government of Ghana to provide science education for the people of Ghana at every level but there is no clear policy direction or funding to cover that process (See page 66). Dr. Kwame Amezah of the Ministry of Food and Agriculture in his address on behalf of the Minister of Agriculture said that “we have not committed enough resources to the scientific study and management of this very important natural resource although we know that ‘when the tree dies the last person will also die’.” (See page 8). There is therefore the need for scientists, especially in Africa, to study the forest ecosystem in order to generate vital information and knowledge necessary for sustaining the forest growth and use. Professor William Hennessey in his remarks during the interactive session on Thursday, March 13, 2008, emphasized on what was meant by the term “new traditional knowledge”. He said if you take a herbal mixture which is used for some sort of a therapy and then you take it into a laboratory and you isolate and identify the bio-active compounds and then you purify and package it or you give it a delivery system which may be in the form of a capsule, that 89
  • 90. improvement may be a patentable invention. So traditional knowledge in its original form may be not patentable but purification or improvement or refinement of or the giving of a delivery system to that same traditional knowledge may be a patentable invention. (See page 82). But the question is how could a traditional healer who has no basic science training get to this stage of new traditional knowledge? How can a traditional healer without a basic science education be competitive in any discussion or negotiation with a conventional doctor? With a changing world which requires an attitude leaning towards education, inquisition and innovation in every discipline and profession to meet the demands of the modern times, it was the understanding of the delegates that creating ample educational opportunities for traditional healers in the field of modern medicine and healthcare will not only empower traditional healers in providing qualified and better healthcare services to their communities but will also enhance useful collaboration between orthodox doctors and research institutions which in turn will lead to an accelerated team effort in the search for treatment and cure for most of the diseases plaguing the world today. It was therefore the unanimous opinion of the delegates that the conference recommends to the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Health to consider the setting up of a national science and technical education task force comprising of the of the following institutions: Ministry of Health Ministry of Education Ministry of Food and Agriculture Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology Centre for Scientific Research Into Plant Medicine Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research Council of Scientific and Industrial Research University of Ghana Food and Drugs Board and National Commission on Culture Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association to be charged with the responsibility of developing and implementing special educational programs in biology, chemistry, plants and environmental science and technology to enable traditional medicine practitioners to gain some practical knowledge about essential healthcare, essential drugs, administration, finance and new techniques in the preparation, production, dispensation and commercialization of their herbal products in manner that meets the universally acceptable standards of efficacy and safety. It is the further recommendation of the conference that this training program should be considered as a pre-requisite for the categorization and issuance of licenses to traditional healers to practice in the country. (d) That the conference recommends the constitution of a permanent Scientific and Technical Committee comprising all the stakeholders, including the persons named below to develop plan of action with activities, timelines and budget, mobilize financial resources from governments, grant foundations and institutions around the world for research and development of traditional medicines for the treatment of priority tropical neglected diseases: Dr. Ossy MJ Kasilo, World Health Organization, Africa Regional Office Professor William Hennessey, Franklin Pearce Law Center, New Hampshire Dr. Ba-Lagi Gregory Lugu Zuri, Natural Healing Centre Ms. Fiona Eberts, AMONG, Ghana Mr. Geofred Boateng, Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Assn Mr. Peter Arhin, Traditional & Alternative Medicine Directorate, Ministry of Health Dr. Emmanuel Brako, Winona State University, Minnesota, USA Dr. Kofi Kondwani, Morehouse School of Medicine, Georgia, USA 90
  • 91. Dr. Amin Bonsu, Amen Scientific Hospital Traditional Doctor Togbega Dabra VI, Prometra Ghana Mr. Essossiminam Lakassa, Togo Therapeutic Medicine Practitioners Assn Dr. Ezinne Enwereji, Abia State University, Nigeria Honourable Rodney Edisemi Ere, Bayelsa State Action Committee on AIDS, Nigeria Mrs. Grace Issahague, Principal State Attorney, Office of the Attorney General Dr. Rexford Osei, Director of Science, Ministry of Education, Ghana Kwame Anyimadu Antwi, National Commission on Culture, Ghana Dr. A. Amegah, Director of Extension Services, Ministry of Food and Agriculture, Ghana. J.William Danquah, President and Chief Executive Officer, Africa First, LLC Representative from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology Representative from Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research (e) That as a way of encouraging collaborative partnerships between traditional healers and researchers and research institutions towards research, drug discovery, exploitation and benefit sharing, the conference recommends that suggested draft Memorandum of Understanding be drawn up with the help of Professor William Hennessey, Mrs. Grace Issahaque, Professor Graham Dutfield as a module working instrument for collaboration between traditional health practitioners and researchers and research institutions. (f) That just before the publishing of this Report, the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) released a press statement that it has signed an Intellectual Property (IP) Development Plan with the Government of Ghana which aims to build the country’s capacity to create, protect and utilize IP as a power tool for economic growth and development. The IP Development Plan also seeks to ensure that the IP offices and potential users of the IP system - such as universities, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), chambers of commerce and industry, research and development institutions and copyright organizations - have the technical capacity to use the intellectual property system. The conference therefore want to take advantage of the momentum created by the agreement between the WIPO and the Government of Ghana and to recommend to the Government to consider the institutionalization of acceptable legal structures with the guidance of Mrs. Grace Issahaque, Principal State Attorney, Office of the Attorney General of the Republic of Ghana, Professor William O. Hennessey of Franklin Pearce Law Center, Concord, New Hamphire, USA, Professor Graham Dutfield of Leeds University, United Kingdom, and Mr. Kwame Antwi Anyimadu of the National Commission on Culture, to take care of intellectual property right issues as they affect the development and protection indigenous knowledge, traditional medicine and the welfare of its practitioners. (g) The conference noted the importance of conserving the forests. In the presentation of Dr. Kwame Amezah “he said that in spite of their importance, forests are being converted to other uses such as mining, agriculture and oil production. The world looses about 13 million hectares of forest per year. This results in reduction of long-term provision of forest products and services as well as the potential of the forest to regenerate itself. (See page 8) In his presentation, Mr. Daniel Abbiw (see pages 61-64) reminded us that the forests serves two main purposes - first, the influence that the association of trees as a whole has on the immediate locality or the area generally, such as rainfall and relative humidity (the indirect benefits), and secondly, the forest produce such as timber, fuel-wood, medicinal plants, mushrooms, snails and so on that may be obtained from it (the direct benefits). He went on to state that man’s activities tend to destroy the forests and woodland - the natural habitat of both plants and animals, and also water bodies. The short-term personal gain of a few is threatening the long-term interest of the whole nation. He drew our attention to the fact that harmful methods and flagrant manner of harvesting plants for both food and medicine from the wild for both local use and for export without any concerted effort to replenish the forests of the plant harvested is contributing to the destruction of the forests and woodlands which will definitely have a devastating effect on the country. This threat must not be 91
  • 92. ignored if we and our posterity should survive. Based upon the cautions and suggestions contained in the presentations of Dr. Amezah and Mr. Abbiw, we recommend that the Government of Ghana should consider creating awareness about the dangers and threats posed to the forests as result of the way the forests are being exploited and to pass appropriate ordinances and laws to require individuals, companies, exporters and manufacturers who require medicinal plants and other plants of commercial or export potentials to cultivate their own plants. NEXT CONFERENCE Africa First LLC will ensure that the above recommendations are brought to the attention of the Government of Ghana for consideration and also request for permission for the hosting of the 3rd Global Summit on HIV/AIDS, Traditional Medicine & Indigenous Knowledge in the city of Kumasi, Ghana, from August 25 to 31, 2009 to coincide with the celebration of the Sixth Africa Medicine Day. Africa First, LLC hereby solicits financial and technical support from the Government of Ghana, World Health Organization, United Nations Joint Programmes on HIV/AIDS, Esperanza Medicines Foundation, Ghana AIDS Commission, the National Institutes of Health USA, the Canadian Agency for International Development, Japanese International Cooperation Agency, and all other institutions and persons interested in the development of traditional medicine in support of the next conference. MISSION OF AFRICA FIRST, LLC The influence of European colonial domination of and the practice of slavery in Africa, Asia, Australia, North America, South America and New Zealand has helped to disrupt the lives, ancient beliefs, customs and practices of the civilizations that had existed in these regions of the world. The two significant outcomes of the events that attended colonization and slavery are that while the political, economic, social and cultural interests of Europe and afterwards, America, were advanced, the political, economic and social needs of those they colonized and dominated, have been left to decay, and to this day, they suffer from illiteracy, poverty, diseases and psychological setbacks. In societies where the colonial settlers co-exist with natives and freed slaves, there persists a culture of absolute economic and social segregation, discrimination, injustice and inequality against natives and freed slaves. It is a world in which the natives and freed slaves are marginalized to the extent that they have been perpetually deprived of their lands, voices, beliefs and customs; they have no say in decisions affecting their existence and welfare. After two world wars from which the United Nations and its branches have emerged supposedly as pillars of peace, inspiration and progress for the world; and the rapid advancements brought about by science in medicine and technology to improve the life of mankind, the world is more than ever confronted by bitter wars, genocides, refugee crisis, drought, starvation, emerging and incurable diseases, human-trafficking, drug addiction, religious violence and environmental pollution. A cycle of massive cross-emigration of people from one place to the other to avoid the pangs of war, persecution, hunger and to seek self-advancement dangerously persists. These trends are propelling a rapid growth in inter-racial marriages, mixed races and crossed-cultures in developed countries. The result is an explosion of minority populations who already are suffering from illiteracy, poverty, diseases and a surge in cultural and religious conflicts. There is so much confusion in the world today than yesterday, to the extent that one cannot tell what is really true and what is not. The time has now come for the people of the world to begin to reflect on what to do to save ourselves from total destruction. We must act now. 92
  • 93. It is very important for every one to acknowledge that all men are born equal and none is superior above the other. It is crucial to accept the fact that each person has a distinctive purpose to fulfill for the common good of all while on this earth. Like a head to a body, and a finger to the arm, neither the body nor the arm can function without the head or a finger. The inherent best of each one of us resides within our ability to serve one another without prejudice and to freely share at all times. And the best in each one of us can only manifest in love, equal respect, equal justice and equal opportunity for all, irrespective of color, creed or race. There is an urgent need for constant global dialogue and collaboration between modern and ancient knowledge in all the disciplines of life, with the ultimate goal of selflessly sharing, educating, healing and empowering each other in order to perpetually break down the iron curtains of prejudice, segregation, discrimination, injustice and inequality, which are bleeding the world to death. This is the only way the world will once again find its path to absolute nourishment, good health, peace and fulfillment. And this is what Africa First, LLC and its collaborators around the world strive to achieve. Africa First has commenced operations on a 120-acres virgin farm land and a 9-plots land (for administration and operations) at Tepa Ahafo-Ano, in the tropical forest and mining area of Ashanti Region of the Republic of Ghana, for the propagation, cultivation, processing and marketing of medicinal plants and natural product chemistry. The project has easy access to very good road system which connects with every part of the country and the outside world. One important segment of the project is that it will network with local traditional herbalists, botanists, agriculturists, conventional medical practitioners and relevant bio-medical institutions within Ghana and overseas in applying both indigenous knowledge and scientific technology for the affordable manufacture and maximum utilization of plant medicines. The project shall have a special nursery segment to ensure that important plant species and trees of medicinal and commercial value now threatened around the world by over-exploitation and other forces, are planted and protected from total extinction. The project will run a greenhouse and laboratory for education and scientific research into natural drug discovery. The project will also embark on the following: 1. develop a sustainable production system that is environmentally friendly, profitable, and benefits society. 2. improve the quality of life for the families that reside within the community where the project is located. 3. create a model farm to train farmers about organic production of medicinal plants and sustainable forest management. 4. use the activities developed in the eco-farm and its natural resources for biodiversity and environmental education. 93
  • 94. CONTACT INFORMATION AFRICA FIRST, LLC 517 Asbury Street, Suite 11 Saint Paul, Minnesota 55104, USA Telephone 651 646 4721 Telefax 651 644 3235 Electronic mail: Website: http:/// May 7, 2008 94