Fact Check: Did a Ghanaian professor discover that Hydrogen Peroxide can prevent Covid-19?

Quick Take

A Facebook user has put up a newspaper report claiming that a Ghanaian professor has found Hydrogen Peroxide can prevent Covid-19. We fact-checked and found that the claim is half true.

The Claim

“Ghanaian Professor Discovers Hydrogen Peroxide as a Silver Bullet in Covid-19 prevention,” reads the headline of a news report shared by a Facebook user. The report is apparently from a news outlet named Whatsup News. The post can be seen here. A screenshot of the same is given below.

Fact Check

Is the news true?

Yes. Though we could not verify the particular news piece shown in the snapshot, we could find other news reports covering the same topic.

Prof. Andrews Seth Ayettey, a former Provost of the College of Health Sciences at the University of Ghana, carried out an observational study and wrote his reports in a letter to the Editor of British Medical Journal where he concluded, “Hydrogen Peroxide that has been in use in dental practice with proven safety and efficacy could be employed in limiting the infectivity and spread of SARS-CoV-2 whilst awaiting the emergence of fail-proof prophylactic and therapeutic measures.”

However, Prof. Ayettey agreed a clinical trial is planned to further confirm the findings.

Is Hydrogen Peroxide an approved process of preventing Covid-19?

No. Hydrogen Peroxide is not an approved prevention ingredient against Covid-19.

Prof. Andrews Seth Ayettey’s study was observational and he himself wrote on the letter, “We have planned a clinical trial of mouthwash and gargle with hydrogen peroxide compared with mouthwash or gargle with water only, in asymptomatic cases of COVID-19.”

The Ghana Medical Association (GMA) also issued a statement cautioning the public against the use of hydrogen peroxide to prevent or treat COVID-19. The letter read, ““Presently, Hydrogen Peroxide has not been approved, authorized or recommended by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) (Ghana), Ghana Health Service (GHS), Ministry of Health (MoH), World Health Organization or any other reputable international drug and health regulatory body for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19”

The World Health Organization (WHO) in an Online Press Briefing on February 18 said it doesn’t have any clinical evidence about Hydrogen Peroxide for treating Covid. They said, “For the time being, there is no evidence that supports that affirmation.”

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