January 28, 2004.
Accra Mail (Accra).
The Kumasi Centre for Collaborative Research (KCCR), has developed an antibiotic, known as Doxycycline that could help effectively treat and shorten the duration for treatment of Onchocerciasis (Oncho), otherwise known as river blindness.
Professor Ohene Adjei, Deputy Director of the KCCR disclosed that Doxycycline has the potential of sterilizing or killing the adult worms which produce the young worms or larvae that causes Oncho, within a six-week period.
The current treatment for Oncho using Ivermectin does not have the potential for killing adult worms but only the larvae or young worms, he added.
With the use of Ivermectin, it takes about 10 years to effectively treat Oncho.
Professor Adjei said, the KCCR has been researching into Oncho for the past three years at Dunkwa-On-Offin, an Oncho endemic area, and developed the Doxycycline drug only last year.
He said the drug would be formally introduced to the Ministry of Health at a seminar to be held by the KCCR in February this year.
Professor Adjei said since Doxycycline, kills the adult worms, its combination with Ivermectin, which also kills the young ones would entirely treat the Oncho patients within a short period of six weeks, instead of the 10 years.
He said, notwithstanding their achievement, the KCCR was still working hard to ensure that the six weeks duration at which the Doxycycline kills the adult worms is reduced.
Professor Adjei said "this apart, we are also engaged in research to develop other antibiotics which can perform the same function as the Doxycycline".
Copyright © 2003 Accra Mail. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com).
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