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01.12.2003 General News

Traditional Medicine To Be Produced On Large Scale

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Health Minister, Dr Kwaku Afriyie says the transfer of technology to facilitate large-scale production of plant medicines into ethical and modern dosage forms would begin next year. A Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of China and Ghana for the project is being studied for endorsement in January next year.

This was contained in a speech read for him by Mr Peter Arhin, Acting Director of Traditional Medicines Directorate of the Ministry, at the opening of a five-day workshop on development training skills for traditional medicine practitioners drawn from Ghana, Nigeria and Cameroon.

The training workshop would take participants through development of intellectual property rights to enable them to come out boldly with their findings and collaborate with scientists and clinicians for research and documentation purposes.

It is also to elevate the marginal status of traditional medicine providers to that of real partners in health services provision.

Dr Afriyie said to ensure a successful take off of the programme, the Ministry was collaborating with the Ministry of Lands and Forestry, Centre for Scientific Research into Plant Medicine and Parks and Gardens who will provide raw material base for future large-scale production as well as nursing endangered medicinal plants.

He said the Ministry was also working out the modalities for accreditation of traditional medicine for future integration into the standard health care delivery.

Agya Appiah, Chairman of the Ghana Chapter of the Commonwealth West Africa Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association (COMWATPA) who welcomed participants reiterated Mr Kofi Annan's plea on practitioners to find ways of stemming the tide of HIV/AIDS pandemic.

He called on the practitioners to accept the challenge and rise to the occasion since they could be of help in that regard. "All such herbal and traditional medicine practitioners must put their heads and expertise together to fight, check and prevent AIDS", he added.

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