General News of Sunday, 27 January 2013
Torgbuiga Yaka IV, Registrar of the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC), at the weekend advised Ghanaians to be wary of traditional and alternative medicine practitioners who claim to have powers to double money.
He described the perpetrators as fraudsters and stressed that such powers to double money did not exist.
Torgbuiga Yaka IV, who is also the Awafiamega at the Fia Afife Traditional Area, gave the advice during an interaction with a section of the media in Accra.
He said: “As a divine healer, I can say on authority that there is no such force anywhere (to double money). It is just fraud, and the culprits should be dealt with. No force can help a lazy person to become rich overnight”, he said.
Torgbuiga Yaka IV expressed worry that some practitioners hid behind the screen of offering medical services and promised unsuspecting individuals of doubling their monies.
He said according to Police reports, such nefarious activities by the self-acclaimed “money doublers” were on the increase.
Torgbuiga Yaka IV, therefore, cautioned the public of such activities and appealed to the citizenry and the media to report such cases to the Police.
He emphasized that the TMPC, which is an agency of the Ministry of Health, had not licensed any traditional and alternative medicine practitioner to engage in money doubling.
Torgbuiga Yaka IV said persons, who had fallen victims to such fraudsters, should report the incident first to the Police and then to the TMPC for investigations and action.
He also cautioned the public to patronize only the services of those registered and licensed by the Council.
Torgbuiga Yaka IV said such uncertified practitioners were operating in violation of the Traditional Medicine Practice Act 2000 (Act 575).
He said it was an offence under Act 575 of 2000 for any person to produce herbal medicines for sale without registering with the Council, or to own or operate any premises as a practitioner without registering with the TMPC.
Torgbuiga Yaka IV said: “Similarly it is an offence to own, operate or practice without holding a license issued by the Council.”
He underscored the importance of licensing the practitioners, saying it was to ensure safety and the efficacy of traditional medicine for public consumption.
Torgbuiga Yaka IV said TMPC would this year establish five regional offices to facilitate the registration of the practitioners.
He was optimistic that the Council’s nationwide enforcement exercise to clamp down on illicit activities of some practitioners would yield positive results.
According to the World Health Organisation, more than 70 per cent of rural folks access herbal medicine and products. There are currently more than 40,000 traditional and alternative medicine practitioners in active operation in the country.