Let?s Start To use Traditional Medicine In Hospitals

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The Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners (GAFTRAM) has called on the government to institute investigations into how some herbal medicines that have been certified by the state to be used at some government hospitals have still not been included in the health delivery system.

It argued that the unfortunate move had led to loss of huge capital by the producers of the medicine, while medical doctors trained and posted to the various hospitals to dispense such drugs were sitting idle and taking their salaries.

The National Organiser of GAFTRAM, Nana Obiri, disclosed this to the Daily Graphic in an interview after an advocacy training for members of the federation.

Its training programme was aimed at building the capacity of members to be able to advocate to ensure that traditional medicine found its proper place in the health delivery system of the country.

Complaint

Nana Obiri complained that when the medicines were approved, the companies took bank loans to produce more of the approved drugs in large quantities for the designated hospitals, thus bemoaning the situation where those? hospitals refused to administer the medicines.

Approval of herbal medicine

He said in 2010, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research (NMIMR) and the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) approved a list of 180 herbal medicines which was subsequently certified by the Ministry of Health for use in hospitals.

Nana Obiri said surprisingly, the very organisations that certified the drugs, after painstaking investigations and testing, were currently behaving like they had nothing to do with the drugs, a situation which had led to the procurement departments of the hospitals refusing to buy the drugs.

He explained that the drugs were for the treatment of 14 diseases under the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS), and the designated hospitals included the Swedru Government Hospital, Obuasi Government Hospital, Police Hospital, Sunyani Hospital and Tamale Municipal Hospital.

Initial moves

Tracing the trajectory of events, Nana Obiri said in 2000, during the Rawlings administration, a committee was set up to investigate the safety and efficacy, among others, of traditional medicines, especially for use in government hospitals.

He added that during the tenure of Mr Alban Bagbin as Minister of Health, he also gave his consent to the list for use.

He said the association had been overwhelmed by the turn of events because it believed that the NMIMR and the FDA must come out clean on the matter.

The President of the National Association of Traditional Healers, Dr K. O Danso, said recent happenings in the health industry were an ample evidence that the efficacy and reliability of some orthodox medicines could not be guaranteed, especially with recent revelations by the FDA.

He expressed worry that although there was a law allowing some of the traditional medicine to be used in Ghanaian hospitals, some Ghanaians for their selfish and parochial interests were doing everything within their power to kill the herbal medicine industry which had sustained majority of Ghanaians for years in their health needs.

Source Daily Graphic??

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