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26.08.2002 General News

Traditional Medical Practitioners Attend Seminar

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The Eastern Region branch of the Ghana Federation of Traditional Medical Practitioners Association (GHAFTPAM) has called on the government to review its policy of discouraging employees on its payroll from receiving herbal treatment.

Government does not pay bills of employees who seek treatment from traditional medicine practitioners.

This, the association explained, had made their members to lose a number of clients in government employment. Mr. P. P. Larbie, Eastern Region Secretary of the association, made the call at a one-day workshop for traditional medical practitioners in the Eastern Region at Koforidua last weekend.

The workshop, organised by the Eastern Region Centre for National Culture (CNC), was aimed at bringing the practice of traditional medicine in the region to international standards.

Mr. Larbie called for a reduction in the cost of testing of herbal preparations by the research institutions, saying the present procedure was "very cumbersome and expensive to most members of the association

He appealed for support to enable members to acquire capsulation, tabulating and grinding machines" to enable them bring their production to a more scientific level.

Rev. Jonathan Martey of the Ghana Food and Drugs Board (GFDB) said the world market for herbal medicine, including herbal products and raw materials, is estimated at $43 billion with an annual growth rate of between five and 15 percent.

He said if Ghana could enter the international market for herbal products and capture just one per cent of the market, the country could earn a lot of money.

Rev. Martey said the requirement for the registration of herbal drugs with the board was to enable herbal preparations to conform to international regulations.

"It is only by conforming to such regulations that would make it possible for herbal preparations to be prescribed by orthodox medical practitioners, who would like to have full knowledge of what they are prescribing for their patients."

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