The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) has said some recently published observational studies within and outside the country suggesting the use of Hydrogen peroxide for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19, do not constitute enough proof.
The GMA has, therefore, urged Ghanaians to continue to adhere to all the COVID-19 safety protocols while the world awaits proof of the use of Hydrogen peroxide to prevent or treat the deadly virus.
In a statement co-signed by its President, Dr Frank Ankobea; and General Secretary, Dr Justice Yankson, the GMA said its attention “has been drawn to recent media publications on the use of hydrogen peroxide to prevent COVID-19, which has led to panic buying and shortages of the product from pharmacy outlets.”
The GMA noted: “Hydrogen peroxide has been used for several decades for disinfection and as an antiseptic. Specifically in Ghana, Hydrogen peroxide at low concentrations of 3-6 per cent w/v is registered by the FDA as antiseptic for minor cuts, wounds and skin ulcers and also mouthwash and deodorant gargle”.
“Presently, Hydrogen peroxide has not been approved, authorised or recommended by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) (Ghana), Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ministry of Health (MoH), World Health Organization (WHO) or any other reputable international drug or health regulatory body for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19.”
It continued: “There has been some published observational studies both within Ghana and abroad that suggests that Hydrogen peroxide ‘may be used’ for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. However, these do not constitute sufficient proof that it will work in human populations to prevent or treat COVID-19 at this present moment”.
The GMA, therefore, advised that “while we await proof of the use of Hydrogen peroxide for the prevention and treatment of COVID-19, the general public should handle the product like any other medicinal product and that the misuse of same could lead to serious physical and undesirable medical consequences.”
It also advised the public to “consult appropriate health professionals (prescribers) before they purchase such products.”
The GMA further called on the public to “continue to adhere strictly to the protocols of the mask-wearing, hand washing or use of alcohol-based hand sanitisers and social (physical) distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
It also cautioned the public to “do your best to stay safe during the pandemic, COVID-19 is real.”
Former Provost of the College of Health Sciences of the University of Ghana, Prof. Emeritus Andrews Seth Ayettey, for protection against COVID-19, recommended the use of Hydrogen peroxide alongside observation of the safety protocols.
In a write-up, the former College of Health Sciences Provost said: “In our on-going observational studies, we have become even more convinced about the efficacy of this solution, realising that eight frontline nurses in the COVID-19 management team at a District Hospital using hydrogen peroxide had not contracted the disease and had tested negative since May 2020. In comparison, 62 of their colleagues not using peroxide had contracted the disease by end of December 2020. In a Google survey to determine hydrogen peroxide use we noted that even though the number of respondents was few, none using hydrogen peroxide had had COVID-19 or had tested positive for the virus. Also, none of those we know using hydrogen peroxide has been diagnosed with the disease.”
According to Prof Ayettey, “Recently, a friend who was not using Hydrogen peroxide had COVID-19. His wife, three elderly children, and mother-in-law who had been with him for 5 days and who all tested positive for the virus were encouraged to use hydrogen peroxide for mouth washing, throat gargling and nose cleansing, in addition to their prescribed medications of vitamin C, Ivermectin and Zinc. After two weeks, they all tested negative. None progressed to develop clinical symptoms of the disease.”