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Health News of Tuesday, 22 September 2015

Source: GNA

Traditional medical practitioners warned

Traditional Medicine Practitioners have been cautioned not to parade themselves as medical doctors, since their license did not mandate them to practise as such.

Mr Martin Azaglo, a member of the Traditional Medicine Practice Council (TMPC), gave the warning at the commemoration of the 13th Africa Traditional Medicine Celebration which coincided with the 16th Traditional Week in Cape Coast..

The week-long celebration under the theme: “Regulating Traditional Health Practitioners in the Africa Region,” was attended by more than 500 traditional medical practitioners nationwide.

Mr Azaglo who spoke on “Evidence as bench marks for traditional medicine development and regulation: TMPC perspective, ” said it was unfortunate that some herbalists paraded themselves as medical doctors, and in some cases took up duties they were unqualified to perform.

He advised them to liaise with hospitals and medical doctors, as well as their colleague herbalists, to enable them make prompt referral of cases they were not able to handle at their health centres.

Mr Azaglo also reminded them that the ban on the sale of herbal medicine on public transport was still in force, but however stated that they could sell on licensed branded vehicles.

“It is unlawful to package medicines in travelling bags and other containers to sell on commercial vehicles,” he warned.

He said traditional medical practitioners played a vital role in the health care delivery, stressing that during the recent doctors strike action', it was the traditional practitioners who stepped in to save lives, particularly in rural areas.

He advised them to endeavour to register and license their health centres.

He further advised them to produce their herbal medicines under hygienic conditions, since about 70 to 80 per cent of the population used traditional medicine.

Mr Azaglo reminded them that for the public to have confidence in traditional medicine it was imperative for them to abide by the regulations of Act 575, which seeks to ensure quality, safety and efficacy.

Mr Emmanuel Yaw Kwarteng of the Food and Drugs Authority (FDA), said it was a criminal act for any traditional medical practitioner to sell orthodox medicine.

He said evidence should be the bench mark for the development of traditional medicine in Ghana, and encouraged traditional practitioners to ensure proper labeling and packaging of their herbal medicine.

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