The Ghana Traditional Medicine Foundation was on Wednesday re-launched with a call on Ghanaians to patronise indigenous herbal medicines for efficient and safe practice in the country.
Formerly the Ghana Ethno-Medical Foundation, it is a multi-sectoral agency, comprising scientists, researchers, traditional medical practitioners, plant collectors and sellers and forest sector agencies, with an objective of ensuring growth and development in the herbal/ traditional medicine practice in Ghana.
The foundation also seeks to ensure that patients receive the best of services, practitioners and manufacturers give their best services and products are duly investigated and proven by scientists and researchers before use.
Representative of the Minister of Health, Mr Alex Arphul, Director of Human Resource, who re-launched the foundation and inaugurated the 23-member board of trustees, said the future of the country should be based on the country?s prospects and what it is endowed with.
He said the board has a four-year mandate to turn the fortunes of traditional medicine around, and that Ghana should take advantage of traditional medicine and develop the sector. He said the calibre of the board was in not in doubt, and that, their tenure of office would propel traditional medicine to greater heights.
He tasked the board to work in key areas such as intellectual property, fake products and poor service delivery for efficient service delivery, adding that, with 70 per cent of Ghanaians depending on traditional medicine, the right steps should be taken to protect them from quacks.
Mr Walter Blege, former PNDC Secretary for Education, who gave a background of the foundation, said it dates back to 1991 and aims to promote traditional medicine under the auspices of the National Commission on Culture to mobilise funds from private sources to support research and safety standards among others.
He said the vision of the foundation was to have traditional medicine practice as a formidable and credible force in medical care that effectively complemented orthodox and other forms of therapies in Ghana for the provision of quality and affordable health care for all Ghanaians.
He expressed regret over the reliance of foreign good and noted that,? the dependency syndrome should stop?.
Prof Laud Okine of the Department of Biotechnology, Cell and Molecular Biology of the University of Ghana, who chaired the function, said Ghana should use what God has given her to improve the quality of lives through indigenous medicine.
He tasked the board to establish a digital library to protect intellectual property and harness human resources to produce medicines that would stand the test of time.
Daasebre Kwebu Ewusi VII, President of the Board of Trustees, noted that, the task before the board was not an easy one, and that they should be determined to turn the fortunes of tradition medicine around through innovation and creativity. GNA