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Traditional Medicine Needs to be Standardized - Jawula

2006-11-21 22:03:34
This article has been read 766 times.

Given the poor standards of traditional medicine practice and products in the country, a strategic plan must be developed in line with the national health delivery system to ensure better health for all, a top Civil Servant said on Tuesday. Lepowura Mohammed N. Jawula, Chief Director of the Ministry of Health (MOH), said there were over 40,000 traditional medicine practitioners in Ghana providing health care to over 80 per cent of the population, yet there was no vibrant administration for their regulation, control and practices.

The World Health Organization (WHO) in 2000 said traditional medicine was the knowledge, skills and practice of a holistic health care; recognized and accepted for its role in the maintenance of health and the treatment of diseases based on indigenous theories and beliefs. Speaking at a two-day workshop to develop a three-year programme of work for the Traditional Medicine Practice Council, Lepowura Jawula said the Traditional Medicine Practice Act 2000 (Act 575), which sought to promote, regulate and control traditional medicine practice through the Council needed a strategy to achieve the expected output.

He said such an action would not only be in accordance with the MOH commitment to create wealth through health but also save millions of cedis for Ghana by reducing expenditure on orthodox medical care. Lepowura Jawula said much of the population believed in traditional medicine for the cure of psychosis; mental illness and bone fractures, the biggest problem had been the dosage which might result in worsening the problem.

He said in recognition of the invaluable contributions of these less endowed health care providers coupled with the huge sums of money spent on orthodox medical care which catered for only 20 per cent of the population, they should be given the necessary political, economic and cultural push.

Lepowura Jawula called on the Council to develop a strategic plan within the overall context of the traditional medicine strategic plan of the MOH, which would carry out the budget estimate.

He said if the secretariat was empowered logistically, it would help create awareness on good practices, bring specialist groups under one umbrella and eliminate quack ones.

Mr Kpogo Hlortsi-Akakpo, Registrar of the Traditional Medicine Practice Council, said the Secretariat since 2000 had inadequate staffing and office accommodation and lacked reliable official vehicle for cross-country duties.

He said because of these constraints, the mandate of establishing the Secretariat was yet to be realized and appealed to the MOH for increased funds to enhance its smooth running.


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