THE PRESIDENT of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Associations (GHAFTRAM), Kojo Odum Eduful, has called for the establishment of a permanent body for the review of the Essential Herbal Medicines list.
Speaking on Thursday, April 4, at a workshop, under the auspices of the Business Sector Advocacy Challenge (BUSAC) Fund Phase III, alongside the European Union, USAID and DANIDA, MrEduful said evidence abounded to show that traditional medicine was not only cheaper but also more accessible than its allopathic counterpart in Ghana.
“There is also evidence to show that most traditional medicine practitioners operate from small and largely unhygienic environments using very crude production methods that result in relatively higher levels of toxicity and microbial contaminants which have resulted in some fatalities or future health complications for some patients. Improved monitoring and education has seen significant improvement in the situation,” he added.
He said studie had shown that about 3,000 herbal formulations had been documented as being efficacious for specific conditions in Ghana, out of which over 600 were circulating as herbal medicine products, with a number of them having undergone preliminary phyto-chemical analysis and safety test at the Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine with a lot more undergoing various scientific tests.
He added that the proven efficacy of herbal medicine made it important for the government to formulate anational policy as well as regulation for the proper use of traditional medicine and its integration into the national healthcare system.
Mr Eduful also called for the establish of a regulatory mechanism to control the safety and quality of products and of practice and the creation of awareness about safe and effective TM/CAM therapies among the public and consumers.
He recalled that ten years ago, the Ministry of Health, working in concert with the Traditional and Alternative Medicine Practice Directorate, began the process of compiling an Essential Herbal Medicines List (EHML). However, he lamented that this process had stalled much to the disappointment and detriment of herbal medicine practitioners and producers in the country.
Mr Eduful urged participants at the workshop to deliberate on building consensus on the way forward for the compilation of the EHML, which will be consistent with international standards and best practices to ensure that the herbal medicine sub-sector of the traditional medicine industry contribute more significantly to the delivery of quality affordable and accessible healthcare to the Ghanaian populace.
Source: Ghana/dailyheritage.com.gh/April 10, 2019