The Gut Microbiome International Trust Ghana (GMIT) Ghana, has called for an urgent inclusion of gut health awareness as a key part of the national crusade against the COVID-19 pandemic in Ghana.
According to the organization, there was the need for the Ministry of Health and the Ghana Health Service to go beyond the current alcohol-based hand sanitizer, social distancing and face mask campaign, since global reports from the epic centre of the coronavirus pandemic have shown a two-way manifestation of digestive (Gut) and respiratory symptoms of the disease.
This was contained in a press release signed by Mr Nyaaba-Aweeba Azongo and made available to the Ghana News Agency in Kumasi, to launch the "Gut Health and Coronavirus: Ghana beyond hand sanitizer, social distancing and face mask campaign project" in Kumasi.
The theme for the launch was "Boosting our gut health to build a robust immune system against the coronavirus".
The statement said several experts and scientific research published on gastroenterology, have called for the consideration of gastrointestinal symptoms as the new focus for clinicians.
"Novel coronavirus symptoms seem to be mostly focused on fever and cough, but gastrointestinal symptoms should be a new focus for clinicians.
Some patients with COVID-19 showed intestinal microbial dysbiosis with decreased probiotics such as lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium.
There is, therefore, the need for a two-way approach by including gut health sensitization for a holistic approach to addressing the pandemic in Ghana and Africa", the statement emphasized.
According to the statement, "GMIT Ghana, have gathered overwhelming evidence by way of hundreds of studies from our global network of partners, through multiple channels to demonstrate that our gut health, probiotics and prebiotics are essential to our immune systems protection against many types of viruses including deadly respiratory viruses.
GMIT believes the times are urgent and the stakes too high to demand a multi-frontal approach towards the containment of this deadly virus before we leap into the deep sea".
It said a deeper understanding of gut health and its role in respiratory disorders including the coronavirus was, therefore, key to designing appropriate gut health Prebiotic and probiotic cocktails for treatment and prevention as emerging reports established the gut health as vitally important to positive COVID-19 outcomes.
It pointed out that gut health was the single biggest driver of inflammation, which was the single biggest factor in your susceptibility to viral infections including Coronavirus.
It said the gut, which included the digestive system had a good bacteria community called the microbiome, which controlled, managed and regulated the immune system, the body's defense system against infections.
Gut Microbiome, thus, played a key role in the overall health and well-being.
According to the statement, about 80% of the immune system was in the gut and 90% of all diseases could be traced back to the health of the gut microbiome.
Gut health, in effect, both developed and regulated the immune system and was linked to viral infections and chronic diseases.
The statement called on Ghanaians to endeavour to maintain their gut health as an urgent necessity in the wake of the coronavirus as the digestive symptoms and diseases have emerged from the Chinese and Italian experience as a major mediating factor in the global pandemic.
It called for more education by experts in the country on gut health as a critical part of addressing the coronavirus pandemic as a national crusade to build a Ghanaian case model for Africa.