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Regional News of Thursday, 7 July 2011

Source: GNA

Traditional Herbal Practitioners to submit to examination and research

Nkawkaw, July 7, GNA - Mr Steven Osafo-Mensah, Acting Deputy Director, Scientific Research into Plant Medicine (ScRPM), Mampong Akwapem, has advised herbal practitioners to present their herbal medicines to the centre for examination.

He also urged them to also submit to other scientific research institutions such as the Food and Drugs Board (FDB) and the Ghana Standard Board (GSB) to be accepted into the nation's health delivery system.

This, he said, would enable Medical Officers at the hospitals to know the efficacy, safety and quality of their products for prescriptions to patients.

Mr Osafo-Mensah gave the advice at the tenth anniversary of "Soafa" Herbal Clinic and the Launching of its new herbal tea at Nkawkaw in the Kwahu West Municipality.

He said over 70 per cent of the country's population relied on herbal medicines which were accessible and affordable in the remote and rural areas as compared to the orthodox medicine.

Mr Osafo-Mensah urged Traditional Medical Practitioners to collaborate with research institutions and to avoid the suspicion that research scientists have interest to pirate their secrete knowledge about drugs.

He advised members of the Ghana Federation of the Traditional Medical Practitioners Association to educate the herbal practitioners to ensure good manufacturing practices, product packaging, product preservation, good clinical practices and managerial skills, to bring their practitioners to acceptable standard.

Mr Osafo-Mensah said a thorough research and scientific examination had gone into the herbal tea by scientific institutions including the centre, FDB, GSB and the pharmaceutical department of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) and had been accepted as authentic which could cure various ailments.

Dr Adu Poku Antwi, of the Holy Family Hospital, also entreated herbal practitioners to send their products to the various scientific institutions for research since most of the orthodox drugs were prepared from herbs.

He also advised the public to ensure balanced diet by taking in more fruits and vegetables to improve their health.

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of 93Soafa" Herbal Clinic who prepared the herbal tea, Dr Kwabena Kyei Asubonten, said he spent ten years researching into the herbal tea and had taken it to various scientific institutions for examination and approval.

He urged the Traditional Medical Practitioners' Council to decentralise its operations and also ensure effective monitoring of herbal practitioners to eliminate quacks from the system.

The Kwahu West Municipal Chief Executive, Mr Alex Somuah Obeng, said the lack of public interest in herbal drugs was due to the conflict between orthodox and herbal practitioners over the dosage and efficacy of herbal drugs.

He advised herbal practitioners to ensure proper preservation of their drugs and keep their environment clean to enhance public interest in their products.

The Member of Parliament (MP) for Nkawkaw, Mr Seth Adjei Baah, who is also the President of the Ghana Chamber of Commerce, assured the producer of his assistance in marketing the product outside Ghana to help create employment for the youth in the area.

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