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General News of Monday, 4 May 2020


Coronavirus: Tests into herbal medicines has slowed - GHAFTRAM

The Ghana Federation of Traditional and Herbal Medicine Practitioners Association (GHAFTRAM) says the tests being conducted into the 33 herbal medicines presented to the Health Ministry to help in testing COVID-19, has delayed.

General Secretary of GHAFTRAM, Nana Kwadwo Obiri told Rainbow Radio 87.5Fm that the issue of traditional and herbal medicines has not been given any serious attention.

He said no representative from the traditional practitioners has been added to the various teams established by the government to deal with the virus.

He disclosed GHAFTRAM some three weeks ago presented a petition to the president but have not received any response.

He expressed the readiness of GHAFTRAM to assist in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak but "we have not been given the full attention. We have the capacity to assist in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak. Ghana could have been the first country to use herbal medicine to treat the virus but Madagascar has taken the lead. Their president has declared they will use herbal medicine to treat the COVID-19 outbreak. We are appealing to the president to give us the opportunity to meet him, we have a lot to tell him".

He stressed the need for the government to give the needed attention to traditional and herbal practice since their contribution to healthcare in the country cannot be swept under the carpet.

"Traditional and herbal practitioners have contributed to healthcare delivery in Ghana. Our contribution has been key to the wellbeing of Ghanaians. Our practice is key to national growth, yet we have been neglected, no one is paying attention to us. It would be in our own interest as a nation to give the traditional and herbal practice the attention," he added.

According to him, the neglect of their members in the fight against COVID-19 puts them at risk.

The Centre for Plant Medicine Research (CPMR) at Mampong Akuapem in the Eastern region of Ghana is collaborating with the Ministry of Health and other stakeholders in research to find a herbal cure for the coronavirus (Covid-19)

The centre is currently testing about 33 drugs some of which had already been approved by the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA) as immune boosters.

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