27 traditional medicine practitioners face prosecution …for failure to license

A total of 27 traditional medicines practitioners in the Greater Accra Region are facing criminal and civil charges in various courts for failure to license their operations, Head of Compliance and Special Enforcement Unit of Traditional Medicines Practitioners Association of Ghana (TPMC) at the Ministry of Health, Martin Azaglo has disclosed.

Participants at the event

The culprits, he said were nabbed during TPMC’s routine special enforcement exercises which was conducted across the country.

He disclosed this at a social dialogue forum for the Commission for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (CTVET) and the Ghana Alternative Medicines Practitioners Association (GAMPA), organised by the Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicine on Tuesday at Weija a suburb of Accra.

According to him, the compliance unit had engaged lawyers to take legal actions against the recalcitrant practitioners who had acted in contravention with the TPMC Act 2000 (Act 575) by operating without proper certification and licensing from the TPMC.

The action, he said, would reduce quackery and help improve the standard of traditional and Complementary Alternative Medicines (CAM) in the country.

To help the TPMC wipe out such practitioners, Mr Azagloh cautioned the general public to be vigilant, and check the registration and certification of any traditional and alternative medicines practitioner, before they submitted themselves to them, for the purposes of safety and good treatment.

General Secretary of Ghana Federation of Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association, (GHAFTRAM) Okogye Abibiduro Nana Kwadwo Obiri, complained about the limited number of registered alternative medicines practitioners, citing falsification of documents by some who claimed to have been registered.

He encouraged the leadership of TPMC to look into the registration of these practitioners and address them appropriately to help weed out quack practitioners.

Nana Obiri called for unity among the alternative medicines practitioners to help promote the alternative medicines in Ghana.

Touting Ghana’s traditional medicine sector as the most organised association in Africa which other countries emulate, Nana Obiri, admonished the alternative medicines practitioners not to be obsessed with winning awards, but rather take a cue from the well-composed traditional medicines practitioners to promote their industry.

President of Nyarkotey University College of Holistic Medicines, Professor Raphael Nyarkotey Obu, for his part said the CAM fraternity must eschew fragmentation, competition and show of superiority and work with a common front to complement the orthodox medical system.

Touching on standardisation in the practice of CAM, Prof. Obu said without standards, everyone practiced what pleased them in the industry which posed a high risk in the practice of their work, hence the need for appropriate regulations to minimise such risks.

He further stated that standards were important in the profession and if one desired to be recognised and accepted in modern healthcare dispensation, standards must not be compromised, adding that  those standards were used as a measure, norm or model in comparative evaluations.

The forum was used to dialogue on creating a National Sector Skills Body (NSSB) for CAM practice in Ghana.

BY KEN AFEDZI

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