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Regional News of Thursday, 24 February 2005

Source: GNA

Traditional Healers to clean market of unwholesome products

Kumasi, Feb. 24, GNA - The Ashanti Region branch of the Ghana National Association of Traditional Healers will soon constitute a task force that will randomly inspect herbal products for destruction as a measure of ensuring the production and use of safe herbal medicine.

The task force will bring to book, traders found to be selling herbal products that have not been duly certified by the Centre for Scientific Research Into Plant Medicine and the Food and Drugs Board. Dr Kenneth Okwampa Danso, National President of the Association disclosed this when the national executive of the association called on the Ashanti Regional Police Commander, Mr Ofosu Mensah-Gyeabour to inform him of the intended formation of the task force and to solicit the assistance of the police when the task force begins its work. The task force, he said will also have representation from the FDB and the Centre for Scientific Research Into Plant Medicine.

Dr Okwampa Danso said the task force will flush out the quack manufacturers of herbal medicines whose products had raised doubts about the efficacy, potency and the authenticity of plant medicine.

He decried instances where the labels of products had the certification of the GFDB but had unwholesome contents, stressing that, the association will also take a critical look at the increasing spate at which some unscrupulous people were imitating tried and tested products on the market to the detriment of their original producers and health of the people.

Traditional Healers urged to form co-operatives

Kumasi, Feb. 24, GNA - The President of the Ghana National Association of Traditional Healers have been urged to form co-operative societies to enable them source funding for the manufacture of their products to enhance their efficacy.

Dr Kenneth Okwampa Danso, who made the call, cited India and China as very good examples of countries where the formation of co-operative societies by traditional healers had tremendously boosted the advancement of traditional medicine on the international market.

"We can only penetrate the international market by adding value to our products to be acceptable on the international consumer market" Dr Okwampa Danso was addressing a meeting of the national executive of the association in Kumasi on Wednesday on ways of boosting the advancement of traditional medicine in the country.

He further entreated the Centre for Scientific Research Into Plant Medicine at Akuapem-Mampong to step up efforts at certifying medicines presented to it early enough to enable herbalists to be more scientific in their production.

"Most traditional healers are becoming more anxious at the slow pace of certifying their products by the centre and the Food and Drugs Board lasting some times, up to three years.

This, Dr Okwampa Danso said was in sharp contrast with their foreign counterparts, whose products are duly certified for consumption by health authorities in just about six months.

Evangelist Eric Ghansah, Public Relations Officer of the Ashanti Regional branch of the association called on government to adequately resource the centre to enable it to execute its duties as was expected, since the country had the potential to break through in plant medicine. 25 Feb. 05