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16.11.2004 Regional News

Traditional healers attract more confidence

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Piina (UW), Nov 16, GNA - Most people particularly in the rural areas of the country have now gained confidence in the use of traditional medicine and its efficacy on patients, Mr Asher Nkegbe, Upper West Regional Programme Officer of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has said.

As a result, he has made a passionate appeal to herbalists in the region to form co-operatives and improve upon their drugs to attract the support of financial institutions and the general public.

Mr Nkegbe stated this at Piina in the Jirapa/Lambussie District, when he addressed a durbar of chiefs and people of the area. The durbar, which was organised by the Northern Savannah Biodiversity Conservation Project attracted also about 300 traditional healers in the area.

He explained that, since most of the healers depended on the vegetation to acquire their herbal ingredients, they should work hard to encourage non-bush burning to be able to have their raw materials all year round.

"There is the need for you to create community reserves to serve as herbarium, form community environmental management committees and enact community rules and regulations that would promote ownership and inter community collaboration".

Mr Nkegbe said the bulk of the population in the rural areas depended on traditional healing and because of their advancement in the cure for ypertension and diabetes among others, there was the need to do scientific consultations that could further improve on their medicines. Mr John Baptist Banoenumah, Regional Chairman of Upper West Traditional Healers Association, commended the Northern Savannah Biodiversity Conservation Project for their support for their association and pledged their support towards all environmental programmes.

He however, appealed to the government and other development partners to support traditional healers to harness their potentials to contribute meaningfully to national development. 17 Nov. 04

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