‘Produce Traditional Ghanaian Medicine for global market’

The Deputy Minister of Health, Mr Alexander Kwodwo Kom Abban has advocated concerted efforts in producing Traditional Ghanaian Medicine (TGM) for the global market.

This, he said would boost indigenous healing practices and promote the national quest for universal health coverage.

Speaking at the 20th anniversary of Traditional Medicine Week Celebration Public Lecture, yesterday in Accra, the minister indicated that government alone cannot work to promote Traditional Medicine (TM) if citizens did not change their mindset about it.

He noted that many elites shun the indigenous health treatment, tagging it as diabolic, hence urged them to help transform the sector with their knowledge.

Mr Abban said if the educated ones support the sector, trading in traditional medicine could meet international standard and would help in fostering change and development of the country.

He lauded successive governments for their roles in developing the traditional medicine sector and reiterated his outfit’s commitment to branding the sector for mass acceptance.

“We have seen the integration of herbal medicine units in public hospitals, the training of herbal medicine professionals at KNUST, Traditional Medicine Practice Council Act and Traditional Medicine practitioners,” Mr Abban added.

Elaborating on the theme; “The role of traditional medicine in Ghana towards achieving Universal Health Coverage: The journey”, Mrs Anastasia Yirenkyi, Acting Director of Traditional and Alternative Medicine stated that traditional medicine has augmented the health of Ghanaians, hence neglecting it would be detrimental to our healthcare.

She refuted claims that indigenous medicine was satanic, stressing that “whether explicable or not, it is used in the maintenance of health as well as in prevention, diagnosis, improvement or treatment of physical and mental illness.”

Mrs Yirenkyi observed that healthcare delivery with the use of traditional medicine had been successful without complications and urged the citizenry to complement the orthodox practice with it for quality healthcare delivery.

Lecturer from the Sociology Department of the University of Ghana, Professor Kodjo Amedjorteh Senah stated that since colonial era, the nation had not been able to design a health architecture that responds to peculiar cultural and social conditions of the citizenry.

“The disconnect between equitable access to health care and the world view of the people is reflected in a situation where 62 years after independence, we are still unsure about the role traditional medicine played in our quest for universal health coverage,”he bemoaned.

Prof. Senah urged the citizenry to learn from India and China and fully utilise the indigenous healing practices to preserve “our identity and heritage.”

BY JOYCELINE NATALLY CUDJOE

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