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28.05.2007 Health

Traditional Healers advised to co-operate with GHC on HIV/AIDS issues


A member of the Ghana AIDS Commission and former National President of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medical Practitioners (GFTMP), Dr Anthony Normashie, has reiterated the Commission's advice to herbalists who claim to have cure for the deadly HIV/AIDS disease not to hesitate to approach the appropriate bodies established by the government to deal with such cases.

This he noted would enable the Commission and other relevant working groups like, the Noguchi Memorial Institute for Medical Research, to conduct analytical research into such important discoveries and come out with reliable scientific evidence to back them.

Dr. Normashie who is also the Founder and Director of the Akim-Oworam based Health For All Herbal Clinic (HFAHC), near Asamankese in the Eastern Region, was commenting on recent claims by some herbalists that they had found plant and herbal products that could effectively cure AIDS.

Explaining the Commission's position on the purported findings of the healers, which had attracted wild print and electronic media publicity in recent weeks, Dr. Normashie maintained that 'as far as the Ghana AIDS Commission was concerned, claims made by the Traditional Healers involved, had no scientific basis and has therefore become a bother to the Commission.

He stressed that the HIV/AIDS pandemic posed the greatest global health challenge to the entire world and any individual, group, or a nation claiming to have obtained a cure for it must make sure that such discovery was fully backed by reliable scientific data.

Dr Normashie said that was why Traditional Healers who showed evidence of giving treatment to AIDS victims had been selected to join the government appointed bodies on AIDS, so that they would collaborate efforts with medical scientists who were conducting intensive research into plant medicine and herbal products that had the potentials to either provide a total cure for, or manage the disease.
He assured herbalists that the 48-member Ghana AIDS Commission established by an Act of Parliament with President John Agyekum Kufuor as it head, fully recognized the vital role Traditional Healers were playing in the country's health delivery system and would continue to cherish their invaluable contributions towards the implementation of all National Health Development Programmes.

Dr Normashie was optimistic that with effective and sustained collaborative moves by all key players in the health delivery sector, including the Traditional Healers, a lasting solution could be found to the AIDS problem in the not too distant future.

He further assured Traditional Healers who were in possession of promising plant and herbal products for the management of the dreaded disease that the gates of the GAC were wide open so they should feel free to send their discoveries to the Commission for critical and thorough examination without any cost.

Dr Normashie appealed to all branch executives of the various Traditional Healers Associations in the regions, traditional councils and district assemblies to help sensitise the people continuously on the need to make their potent plant and herbal medicines available to the Ministry of Health's Research Units for research works to be properly conducted into them for the benefit of the nation.