The Minister for Health Hon Alban Sumana Kingsford Bagbin has noted that?Ghana has since 1991 followed a consistent policy of developing aspects of traditional medicine that has the potential of contributing immensely to healthcare in the country.

These policies he indicated??backed by in-country needs as well as international health related policies such as the Alma Ata Declaration of 1978, the Ouagadougou Declaration on Primary Healthcare of 2001, at which community health seeking behaviours were to become key components in healthcare planning at the primary level. Traditional medicine constitutes some of the healthcare practices at the community level.

He was speaking at the?Africa Traditional Medicine Day held under the theme, ?A Decade of Traditional Medicine Development:? What Are the Impacts??

he averred that for the past decade, Ghana has made some modest gains in its quest to develop traditional medicine, which he said, are?spearheaded?by The Council for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (CSRPM) set up in 1975 and has since developed 35 well-researched products, KNUST since 2005 produced 150 BSc, Herbal Medicine graduates who are physicians? Assistants with special knowledge in herbal medicine and designated as Medical Herbalists.

Alban Bagbin also stated that government, in an effort to deploy this new cadre of healthcare providers under the supervision of physician specialists and senior medical doctors, has recruited thirty (30) of them and posted them to eighteen (18) government hospitals to begin pilot application of approved herbal medicine.

“The rest of the registered Medical Herbalists, after internship and licensure examination, are being utilized in private clinics that are distinguishing themselves in a new quality healthcare niche. They will be properly designated in the future.?Eighty-six (86) herbal medicines have been selected out of the CSRPM-developed products and from about 147 herbal medicines approved by the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) for market authorization. The list is currently being reviewed in line with new safety standards issued by the FDB for upgrading the quality of herbal medicines.”

Plans are underway to launch a large scale cultivation of the needed medicinal plant resources and set up large scale production.

He stressed that the Ministry of health and the Ghana Health Service have developed Standard Guidelines for the establishment and operation of such pilot herbal units, saying that “The Ministry of Health is aware of the efficacy of herbal medicines the potential dangers that can arise from misapplication or abuse of herbal medicines. For this reason, a strong code of ethics of ?do-no-harm? has been instituted to prevent excesses and hazardous practices that characterized unregulated forms of practice in the past and nothing would be done to jeopardize the beliefs, rights, businesses and health of individuals or any group under the pilot projects in the hospitals.”

He called on the people of Ghana to, on their own will, or when necessary, ?call at the?under-listed?hospitals for assessment check-up, counseling and education on what the new Herbal Medicine Unit stands for. The hospitals and their locations are?Greater Accra Region?LEKMA Hospital, Teshie?Police Hospital,?Eastern Region?Eastern Regional Hospital,??Volta Region?Ho Municipal Hospital, Volta Regional Hospital,??Ashanti Region?Obuasi Municipal Hospital, Suntreso Government Hospital, Kumasi South Hospital, Tafo Government Hospital,?Western Region?Tarkwa Municipal Hospital, Central Region Cape Coast Metro Hospital,??Northern Region?Tamale Central Hospital, Salga Government Hospital,? and?Brong Ahafo?B/A Regional Hospital.


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