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Health News of Monday, 10 March 2014

Source: Graphic.com.gh

‘Policies to boost traditional medicine needed’

The Minister of Health, Ms Sherry Ayittey, has underscored the need for traditional medicine to be given a significant boost in order to ensure its viability as an option to improving health in the country.

According to her, it was important to accelerate the implementation of national traditional medicine policies which would ensure that traditional medicine products were safe, affordable and accessible.

Such a move, she said, would offer the added advantage of protecting intellectual property rights with the view to preserving traditional medicine knowledge and resources.

Ms Ayittey was speaking at the induction ceremony of newly qualified nurses and midwives of the southern belt in Accra last Friday.

WHO Traditional Medicine Strategy

Ms Ayittey said steps needed to be taken following the release of an updated traditional medicine strategy aimed at ensuring that World Health Organisation (WHO) countries in the Africa region used that option with maximum benefit.

The aim of the updated strategy, she noted, was to contribute to better health outcomes by optimising and consolidating the role of traditional medicine in national health systems in Africa.

Other actions, she said, should include strengthening human resource capacity for development of traditional medicine, promoting and organising large-scale cultivation and conservation of well-researched medicinal plants used for the production of traditional medicine products.

The health minister expressed concern about the apparent neglect of the training of traditional medicine practitioners.

Minister’s advice

Ms Ayittey reminded the inductees that they had chosen a very challenging career path at a time when the patient or client was demanding nothing but the best quality health care.

She further advised them to help raise awareness of key health issues, including the control, prevention and management of both communicable and non-communicable diseases, patient safety, and health literacy.

Sinking image

For his part, the acting Registrar of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Ghana, Mr Felix Nyante, reminded the inductees that they were being inducted at a time when the image of nursing and midwifery was not the best in the eyes of the general public.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council, he said, had adopted a new slogan, ‘Sankofa’, which means a return to the old ways, to rekindle the old but very good practices of the nursing profession which seemed to be eroding with time.