I promised this a couple of days ago, but I had to celebrate the 2nd greatest commandment: love your neighbour as yourself on the 14th of February. Let us now extend this love to the containment and eradication of Covid-19. Because of Africa’s self-imposed poverty, it needs a different strategy.
Let us start with my classification of Covid-19 4 stages of penetration. You will not find it anywhere.
- External – this is when the disease is outside your national borders. The China virus is an exported commodity. The strategy here is exclusion and fortification. You close all borders (exclusion) until such time that you have enough testing kit to test everyone coming into the country (fortification). I advised this about a year ago. Nobody listened.
- Propagation – this is the initial phase of the infection entering your country. The strategy I recommended was rapid mop up through TITT (test, isolate, trace and treat). I advised the regional Sports Stadia should be converted into Isolation Centres. I am not going to repeat myself, my detailed articles are around. Government failed the nation again.
- Established – the infection has taken roots in the community. This is where Ghana is at the moment. The strategy is aggressive Testing, Treating, and stopping Transmission (TTT). This is the focus of this article.
- Collapse – the final stage if TTT fails in stage 3. You know what that means, don’t you?
Management of every medical condition starts with diagnosis confirmed by appropriate testing. You would have thought that after a year, sovereign Ghana would have developed its own testing kit or at least ECOWAS would have pooled its resources together to do this. No, we are not interested. 400m West Africans would not mind at all if 25m Australia develops the kit and gives it to them. We are not serious at all; we know that, don’t we?
Treatment and the Australia Trio – Doherty, Monash and Borody
Prof. Peter Doherty – Nobel Prize Winner for Medicine & Physiology in 1996 for stuff on T-cell mediated immunity. His Institute was the first to decode the genome of the China virus and created a copy in the lab. He promised that they should be able to work out treatment/vaccine for Covid-19. I wrote about this a year ago, so, I am not repeating myself.
Monash University – 1 of top 3 Australian universities and 1 of top 100 universities in the world.
Both Doherty Institute and Monash are based in my city and the world’s most liveable city – Melbourne. In April of 2020, Doherty and Monash published the results of their research into the efficacy of Ivermectin in completely killing covid-19 in monkey cells.
Ivermectin is not new. It is called the ‘’wonder drug’’ because of its effectiveness in killing so many parasites and activity against some viruses. No single drug has such broad-based potency.
Prof. Thomas Borody – Director of the Centre for Digestive Disorders and the formulator of the Triple Therapy for treatment of Peptic Ulcer in the mid-1980s. His discovery saved the Australia over $10b and 18000 premature deaths.
Borody has expanded on the initial results of Doherty & Monash to develop another triple therapy of Ivermectin, Zinc and Doxycycline, this time for Covid-19. He believes the cocktail begins to work from day 4-6 and eradication is almost 100%.
The regimen in his experiment is:
Ivermectin Day 1 and day 4
Zinc for 10 days
Doxycycline for 10 days.
I am not writing the doses here because I do not want to encourage self-medication. I am also not going into the pharmacology of the 3 agents.
Fortunately, these are old drugs approved by TGA in Australia and FDA in the US. Borody defied the Australian government and asked GPs to use his concoction immediately as ‘’off-the-shelf” therapy. You are wondering why the Australian government is against the triple therapy, right? There is something I call Big Pharma Commercial Politics (BPCP). I will not comment further on BPCP.
Currently, Borody is conducting Phase 2 trials in the US with the aim of producing one single drug containing the 3 medications. I wish him well.
Peru has undergone its own trials and has approved the triple therapy. Bangladesh and India are conducting their own trials now. What is Africa waiting for? Instructions from its masters.
Ghana must start conducting its own trials now. All the 3 medications have been around for at least 40 years and we know their side effect profiles. I believe we have the manpower to design the trials but I am sure Borody would not mind helping Just pay me with 2 blocks of 16 apartments each and I will set everything up. I understand that is the reward for being a Communications Director in Ghana. Lol.
We need to avoid the 4th stage, and this is one way we may be able to do so. A word to the wise….
Transmission and Vaccines
Australia received its 1st batch (142 000 doses) of Pfizer vaccines today. The PM called it a historic day. AstraZeneca/Oxford will start arriving soon. It cost the tax-payer $6.5b. But this includes the right to manufacture the AstraZeneca vaccine here in Australia. Never forget soft politics and economic interests in all this. Australia from its base will supply the vaccines to the self-impoverished countries around here. Australia needs their citizens as seasonal fruit pickers. The fruits are rotting in the farms as I write.
The problem is that Pfizer does not stop transmission. It is up to 95% effective in stopping clinical disease and serious illness and therefore death. Mortality is just about 1% in the unvaccinated by the way. Pfizer will be a logistic nightmare for a country like Ghana. It requires a storage temperature of -70 C. Do we have that capacity? I doubt.
AstraZeneca claims it stops transmission in 2/3 of recipients. Its storage requirements are same as our other vaccines eg. Measles. On the eve of its roll out in South Africa, data came out that it was weak against the SA strain, so roll out is postponed. AstraZeneca is now going to modify the vaccine.
For both vaccines, nobody knows how long their effectiveness will last. My take is that it will be an annual thing, like the flu-virus (also a coronavirus). This is where it becomes tricky. The flu-vaccine is $23 in Australia, so the Covid-19 is likely to be more expensive. Even if the African beggars get the 1st lot for free, how are we going to pay for the yearly boosters? Or we get fed like babies forever, right?
To avoid catastrophic stage 4, we need to do the following:
- Aggressive testing – we need to develop our own kit.
- Treatment with triple therapy (after trials)– if we can treat Covid-19, then we can live with it.
- Vaccination preferably AstraZeneca at least for the vulnerable groups.
With our level of corruption and mismanagement, I cannot see how we will get enough money to buy the vaccines for everyone. I know we will go and beg, but I cannot see how we will get it for free every year if it is established that we need it every year.
Currently, we have treatment for Pneumonia, and also vaccination for vulnerable groups. This is a model we may need to use.
I wish Ghana well.
I wish mother Africa well.
Tswa omanye aba.
Written by Dr. Nii Amu Darko | President, ARM