COA

ERCC orders COA to stop advertising cure for HIV/AIDS

The Eastern Regional Coordinating Council (ERCC) and the Regional AIDS Committee have ordered the Centre for Awareness (COA), a food supplement marketing firm to stop all adverts on a cure for HIV/AIDS in the media.

The management of COA have also been asked to use the same platform in deceiving the public that it had a cure for AIDS to withdraw the derogatory statement indicating the Ghana AIDS Commission (GAC) of sabotaging its efforts to cure Persons Living with HIV and AIDS (PLWA).

An emergency meeting called at the instance of the Regional AIDS Committee, because several PLWAs were coerced by agents of COA to buy the drug to cure their ailment had died while others had deteriorated because they abandoned their Anti Retroviral Therapy, the company was ordered to halt all it business transactions with immediate effect.

The meeting was attended by Regional Technical Director of the GAC, Mrs Golda Asante, Regional Director of the Foods and Drugs Authority (FDA), Mr Felix Kwakye and the Director of Mathew 25, an HIV/AIDS care centre.

Others are the Regional Coordinating Director, Mr Kozie Sambo, COA, represented by it Public Relations Officer, Mr Moffat, was asked to stop marketing of its drugs.

The Regional Director of the FDA, Mr Samuel Kwakye, said the COA FS was registered with the FDA as a food supplement and not for cure for HIV/AIDS or an alternative to the Anti Retro viral (ART) drugs because it has no therapeutic effect on any disease, adding that they had been fined recently for deceiving the unsuspecting public by claiming to cure AIDS.

He said afterwards they received other complains from the public that they were marketing different brands of the COA FS to the public including injections for curing the disease and noted that the COA FS was only registered as a food supplement and nothing else.

According to Mrs Asante, the Regional AIDS Technical Director, she started receiving complaints from PLWAs and some of their support groups across the region, that some of their members who had stopped going for the ARTs were deteriorating while a few had died within a short period.

She said following that complaint they instituted an investigation and found out from some relatives of the deceased and those deteriorating that they stopped the ARTs and started taking COA FS which they had been made to believe was a cure for AIDS after taking it for six months.

Mrs Asante said after putting in measures to bring back the PLWAs to stop buying the COA FS, the management rather blamed the AIDS Commission of preventing PLWAs of getting treatment for fear of been pushed out of work.

The Technical Director, said they had taken that strong stand because, the claim to cure HIV /AIDS was derailing measures put in place to reduce the disease burden and its related deaths.

Source: GNA