Controversy in Ghana over usage, efficacy of hydrogen peroxide as treatment for covid-19
London, Feb. 8, 2021 (AltAfrica)-The efficacy of hydrogen peroxide as a possible cure for coronavirus has become a source of serious controversy in Ghana.
There has been recent spike in the sales of hydrogen peroxide according to the Food and Drugs Board, FDB.
A recent joint monitoring exercise by officers of Pharmacy Council (PC) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) in the country also revealed shortage of hydrogen peroxide in pharmaceutical facilities due to panic buying.
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Hydrogen peroxide had originally been used as a disinfectant specifically in Ghana in very low concentrations.
A retired professor of the University of Ghana Medical School, College of Health Sciences, Prof Andrews Seth Ayettey says research conducted by a team of medical scientists and doctors have proven the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide on Covid-19 virus.
The solution, according to the Emeritus is safe to use in a low concentration and could be applied to reduce viral load in the oral and nasal cavities of Covid-19 patients and to inactivate the viruses they shed.
He told JoyNews Newsfile that he recommended the use of hydrogen peroxide as immediate protection against the virus.
“I can say from what we have research and what we have found, the evidence we have so far clearly indicates that Hydrogen peroxide works.”
“We are, therefore, more emboldened to recommend the use of hydrogen peroxide to protect against Covid-19, alongside the public health protocols and other remedies being actively promoted by government,” he said.
Hydrogen peroxide is a registered antiseptic says FDA
But the GMA stated that “In Ghana, hydrogen peroxide at low concentrations of 3-6% w/v is registered by the FDA as antiseptic for minor cuts, wounds and skin ulcers and also a mouthwash and deodorant gargle,” their statement read.
They stated that despite published observational studies in Ghana and across the world suggesting that hydrogen peroxide “may be used” for the prevention of Covid-19, “it does not constitute sufficient proof that it will work in human populations to prevent or treat Covid-19 at this present moment.”
Professor Alex Dodoo, Ghana’s head of the Food and Drugs Authority, has challenged researchers to scientifically test the efficacy of hydrogen peroxide for the treatment and or cure of Coronavirus.
Prof Alex Dodoo told Joy FM’s news program, Newsfile. “let us carry out a detailed blinded study, using what we all know about how to test things and then come up with a view on it, which is based on fact. Without that, we will harm our society even though the intention from all parties is to save,”
He buttressed the general consensus of co-panelists that current usage of the product needed to be regulated given that it could easily and inadvertently be abused. “Currently as we have it, hydrogen has not been evaluated. It holds a potential but it must be tested,” he added.
He underlined the role that the FDA, which he leads, can play in the process of scientifically testing the product. “… we are charging Ghanaian scientists, carry out properly evaluated studies under the watch of the Food and Drugs Authority because they will give the license as to whether it is good or bad,”
But a pharmacist and fellow of the Centre for Democratic Development, CDD, Ghana Kwame Sarpong Asiedu has expressed concerns over the use of the product in the prevention and or treatment of Coronavirus.
“I am concerned about even people’s ability to serially dilute hydrogen peroxide because you have the 6% and the 9% on the market.
“If you don’t know how to dilute it appropriately to get the 1%, it is a corrosive agent and you might end up bruising your mouth, your nose and all that. So, there needs to be a lot of caution,” he added.
Meanwhile, till the results from the trials are published, the GMA is recommending that citizens handle the product with care as they would any other drug taking into consideration that “the misuse of same could lead to serious physical and undesirable medical consequences.”