A news story published by the online media portal, dailymailafrica.com, on March 25, 2020, suggests that Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMMR), one of the centres for testing the Coronavirus (Covid-19) disease in Ghana, has confirmed COA FS as cure for the pandemic.
Titled “Noguchi finally ‘approves’ Ghana-made drug to fight Coronavirus”, the story refers to an interview the Director of the medical institute, Professor Abraham Kwabena Anang, granted on the Covid-19 pandemic.
Since its publication, the story has been widely shared across a number of social media platforms.
The above news story has been fact-checked to establish its veracity. Below is the verdict and explanation.
Verdict: Completely False
Explanation: Firstly, on April 7, 2020, the official Twitter handle of Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (@NMIMR_UG) issued a brief statement to debunk the claim.
“The University of Ghana, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, hereby inform the general public that it has not independently tested or verified that COA FS can treat COVID-19,” the statement said.
Secondly, checks on the internet revealed that the content of the story was originally published by www.myjoyonline.com on March 24 with the title: COA FS could help in fighting coronavirus – Noguchi Institute Director.
Joy FM had interviewed Professor Abraham Kwabena Anang on their Business news programme where the Director of the Noguchi Memorial Institute had suggested that COA FS, a locally produced food supplement, is proving to be a good immune booster that may help in fighting the Covid-19.
“We want to make sure that COA FS is properly tested and assessed. We actually have a process ongoing with a comprehensive stakeholder approach with the Food and Drugs Authority, Centre for Plant Medicine and others,” Prof. Anang is quoted to have said.
The story further quoted the Director to have said: “For now the medicine is registered as an immune booster and as an immune booster, we know that for Covid-19 if you have a stronger immune system then there is a better chance of surviving.
“So if it is an effective immune booster then you can also assume that it can help in the fight but of course unless you use it, you can’t tell.”
Prof. Anang did not state anywhere in the said interview that his outfit, Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, had approved COA FS as a cure or a drug to fight Covid-19.
Finally, fact-checkghana.com has already verified claims about COA FS being a cure for Covid-19 and concluded that the claims are not true.
In the report titled COA FS is NOT a cure for COVID-19, fact-checkghana.com cited a disclaimer from the Center of Awareness Global Peace Mission (COA GPM), manufacturers of COA FS, to debunk the claims.