The Department of Herbal Medicine at the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) held two separate training workshops for herbal medicine practitioners.
The first workshop began on 5th August, 2023 and ended on 30th September, 2023 and the second workshop happened from Wednesday 11th October, 2023 to 13th October, 2023. All these workshops were held under the theme, “Training in good clinical skills and quality herbal medicine production”.
Participants of the first training were members of the Universal Plant Medicine and Traditional Healers’ Association (UNIPANTHA), who in their bid to obtain right clinical knowledge and good manufacturing skills sought the assistance of the department. Facilitators of the program trained these practitioners in good manufacturing practices, collection and processing of raw materials, preservation of herbal products, proper packing of herbal products and good clinical skills. They emphasized recognizing key surgical conditions that require immediate referral.
The program was chaired by Prof. Isaac Kingsley Amponsah (HoD, Department of Herbal Medicine-KNUST), Dr. Kofi Turkson (Lecturer, Department of Herbal Medicine-KNUST), Dr. George Sam (Lecturer, Department of Herbal medicine-KNUST), Mr. Michael Baah (Assistant Lecturer-Department of Herbal Medicine), Dr. Richmond Amo (Medical Doctor, KNUST Hospital) and Dr. Ebo Tetteh (Medical Herbalist, Tafo Government Hospital).
In his closing address, the Head of Department for Herbal Medicine, Prof. Isaac Amponsah, said the organization of the program is the realization of the dream for which the Department, which is one of a kind in the world was established. He added the Department was established to add science and technology to herbal medicine practice, to modernize the practice and to ensure conventional and herbal medicine practitioners practice in a complimentary fashion.
He used the opportunity to appreciate some present, past and late members of the faculty such as Prof. Emeritus Kwame Sarpong, Prof. Merlin Mensah, Prof. T.C Fleicher, Prof. Rita Akosua Dickson, Late Prof. Kofi Annan, Late Prof George Kuffor, Prof. Gbedema, Prof. Isaac Ayensu for their great contribution towards the success of running the Bachelor of Science Degree in Herbal Medicine at KNUST.
Finally, he admonished the participants not to merely display their certificate of participation at their various premises but to put into good use what they have been taught for others to bear witness that indeed, they have undergone training.
Participants of the second training section were from a group called Researchers in Plant Medicine (RPM). This group which had great interest in modern methods of herbal medicine production also called on the Department intending to upgrade their skills, particularly in producing good grades of herbal products.
Dr. Kofi Turkson reiterated to the participants that the department looks forward to deepening its collaboration with herbal medicine practitioners to help them standardize their production to be at par with best practices around the world. According to Dr. Turkson, the doors of the Department are always open for any help these practitioners might face in their practice hence they should not hesitate to knock on their doors for help.
The participants of the training program were happy their expectations were met. The executives of both UNIPANTHA and RPM expressed their appreciation to the Department of Herbal Medicine for organizing such an educative program. They further encouraged other traditional medicine practitioners and groups to make themselves available to be trained so they can properly attend to their patients and prepare herbal medicines that are of good quality.
Story compiled by Dr. Cephas Kwaku Debrah (M.H), Medical journalist, MPhil Student at the Department of Pharmacognosy, KNUST