Tuesday, September 4, 2007
Traditional medicine practitioners to be registered
Story: Akwasi Ampratwum-Mensah, Sunyani
THE Ministry of Health (MoH) has developed guidelines for the registration of traditional medicine practitioners in the country.
The decision will go a long way to help assess each practitioner on merit and be licensed accordingly. It will also ensure that best practitioners are identified and accredited; hence quackery will be identified and eliminated.
The Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. (Mrs.) Gladys Ashitey, announced this in Sunyani, in the Brong Ahafo Region, when she addressed the commemoration of the 5th African Traditional Medicine Day and the 8th Traditional Medicine Week last weekend.
The ceremony, which was on the theme “Research and Development of Traditional Medicine in the World Health Organisation (WHO) - African Region”, was attended by traditional medicine practitioners from all parts of the country.
Dr. Ashitey, who showed the prepared guidelines to the practitioners at the function, expressed the hope that they would stem the long-standing gap of the need for the regulating traditional medicine practice and services.
The deputy minister stressed the need for the relevant agencies within the regions and districts to partner with the MoH to make the implementation of those guidelines possible.
She stressed gratitude to the MoH’s sponsors and development partners, particularly the WHO-Afro for the continued technical and financial support which, she said, enabled the ministry to reach that far in traditional medicine development.
Dr. Ashitey announced that the ministry was undertaking policy options study in the establishment and placement of the new crop of graduate herbal medicine practitioners, who were being trained at the Kwame Nkruamh University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi.
She stressed that while research and development of traditional medicine was occurring, there was the need to establish standards for the practice of herbal medicine in the country.
The Brong Ahafo Regional Minister, Mr. Ignatius Baffour-Awuah, noted with concern the influx of quack herbalists into the fold of herbal medicine practitioners, saying that that was making people doubt the efficacy of herbal medicines.
Mr. Baffour-Awuah urged the practitioners to properly package their products, so they could appeal to the people to patronize them.
The President of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, Agya Appiah, appealed to Ghanaians to patronize herbal medicines made in the country instead of developing the taste for foreign ones.
The Regional Vice-Chairman of the Ghana Medical Association (GMA), Dr. Daniel A. Oppong, in a fraternal message, stated that the current wind of world medicine was blowing towards a direction that put traditional medicine at a centre stage for discussion in a clot of medical cycles, which also called for research to improve and guide traditional medicine.
Dr. Oppong declared, “Let us galvanise ourselves with the spirit of collaboration and champion a crusade to weed out quack traditional herbalists in the system”.
Daily Graphic - Tuesday, September 4, 2007 Page: 21